Burning of the Fallas

Fallas Burning

Old words of wisdom: Don't play with fire! I can still hear the sirens on the fourth of July from policemen suspicious of illegal fireworks and firecrackers. believe it or not, a city in Spain plays with fire and firecrackers! Interested? Actually they burn fallas in celebration to the Spring to carry out a tradition of carpenters of the Middle Ages.

In Valencia on the 15th to the 19th of March, St. Joseph is the focus of the festival even back in the Middle Ages. Carpenters would hang up planks of wood called parots to supports their candles while working in winter. They would burn these planks in the spring as a celebration of the end of the dark winter working days. The parots slowly progressed to being decorated then burned so they could be identified with personality. They then linked the celebrating with St. Joseph's Day so it wouldn't get out of control. This celebration, Las Fallas, now prepares for this day by building ninots, the decorated woods.

The day's fun begins to the sounds of instruments playing at 8am marching down the street in a parade amoung the noisy fireworks and firecrackers. La Mascletà is the explosions all over the city including the Plaza Ayuntamiento. The fireworks


continue all night, amoung the fallas. Small ones for children at 10pm, and then the real fallas start at around midnight when they are destroyed all around the city. The 20 to 30 foot fallas are finally burned to the ground in celebration of the new spring.

There is no way to catch up on sleep in the crazy chaos of the festival around the city. The day continues with beauty pageants, beauty shows, parades, competitions, and bullfights. When you get caught

in the loud street party of Valencia remember to be careful in the fun. Pregnant women aren't even allowed to attend because so many people get injured each year.

Quick facts:

Official name: Las Fallas

When: March 15th through 19th

Where: Valencia, Spain

Time of festival: 8am

Firework Explosions

Fallas Burning