[VIDEO] Las Fallas, Valencia: A Festival on Fire

Vlogging to you live, from Las Fallas Valencia! After tons of paella, grilled brochettes,  sangria, and FIRE…my camera and I made it out alive.

Wanna know more?

Las Fallas, or literally “the fire torch” dates way, wayyyy back to the 18th century. Remember when I mentioned “carpenters” in the video? Well, that’s because it was the carpenters who started it. Every March 19th, Valencia’s carpenters would pile into the streets baring all of their unused materials from winter, and burn them in honor of St. Joseph’s Day. This makes complete sense, as St. Joseph was the patron saint of carpentry! (Yes, there’s truly a patron saint for everything…)

The good people of Valencia supported the city’s carpenters, and as the years progressed, so did the flooding amount of party people in the streets. And things on fire. Many of the superstitious also believed that by burning their old, dusty, unused materials from the winter, they were cleansing for the Spring. Just like our version of spring cleaning…right?

The “Mascleta.” Or as we would call it, a really loud daytime fireworks display. It goes down every afternoon at 2 PM, and lasts no longer than 10 minutes. Why? Because it’s said to be far too dangerous for such an ear blistering sound to last for longer. In fact, they tell the people in the streets to keep their mouths open, to prevent ears from popping…and even going DEAF (dramatic gasp!!) Be there, or be [not in the city centre] square.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

So, what’s with the “ninots”? These towering satirical caricatures cover every main street corner and square of the city between March 15th-19th. They are made of papier-mâché. Why? Because they are made to burn. That’s right. Today’s modern “fallas” carpenters spend nearly the entire year building these wild looking monstrosities, and hundreds of thousands of dollars. Or millions. The smallest of fallas cost an average of $300,000. And the big mama’s in the main plazas…. Over 1 MILLION. To publicly burn to shreds.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Goh-bless-you.

Crema Night (The “Night of Fire”): March 19th. The night you’ve all been waiting for. Bye Bye ninots. And millions of dollars. Hellloooooo FIREEE.

FALLAS
Photo edited. Via Flickr @stvcr
 Now, unfortunately I had to miss this. I know, how could I ?!? Well kids, mama’s gotta work (Yes, I do have a real job besides frolicking around the globe! Well, kinda. Say hi to my kids!) With that being said, I defffffinetly got a real flavor of Las Fallas. Or make that, lots of flavors, as you saw in my video 😉

Until next year, Valencia!

8 thoughts on “[VIDEO] Las Fallas, Valencia: A Festival on Fire

    1. In my hometown the biggest party is called “Festa da Dorna”. A dorna is a small boat fishermen used years ago. The festival began almost 60 years ago as a joke made by a group of friends. They thought it would be a good idea to fool the town pretending to draw a “dorna”. It was a great prize at that time, so people made a party to celebrate it. Then people discovered that everything had been a joke, but the party had been very nice, so tehy keep it like a tradition and now is a big party, plenty of crazy games, songs and dances, very popular because everybody gets involved.

  1. We absolutely love Las Fallas! We went 4 years ago and it was still one of the coolest things I have seen. I wish we had stayed in the city though because we only went into Valencia at night. We missed out on all the good food! Well, that is not true but I would have loved to have a brochette! Loved your video

  2. Totally true, we are crazy people, and we love it :)
    I’m gald you liked it.
    Only one thing, 300.000€ is not the prize of the most small or cheapest falla, it can be les than 100€ or 3.000€ or whatever they can and want to pay. Only those in “special section” have those HUGE and crazy budgets.

    I hope youcan enjoy fallas every year :)

Let's Chat! Whattya think?