Have you ever imagined a festival full of fire, fireworks, impressive lights, deep traditions, costumes, party, satire, emotions, gunpowder, people everywhere, fun and music, and most importantly, all these things taking over an entire city? That is exactly what happens in Valencia in one of the coolest and craziest events I have ever seen and experienced, known as Fallas which takes place in March.
I am currently living in Valencia, and since I first arrived, I was told about how much people from the city feel this festival, and about how many people from other countries attend it. But experiencing it myself has made me find out about many other small details and understand this amazing event deeply. In this story, I am going to share with you some of the features of Fallas and some of the activities that take place in this festival in detail, so if by any chance you get to see Fallas, you can understand it better and know what to expect and what not to miss. If you want to know more about the roots of the festival, check out this story about the origins of las Fallas in Valencia written by one of my colleagues.
The city and its people are ready to start Fallas at the beginning of the New Year (as they spend almost an entire year preparing for it), but the festival officially begins on 1st March. From that day on, you may see the city streets full of Valencian flags and fantastic decorative lights everywhere in every single district of the city. The most impressive ones are in the hipster district of the city centre, Ruzafa, and it is totally worth checking them out because the city does a great job and spends lots of money. On 1st March, there is a huge display of fireworks knows as Castillo de Fuegos Artificiales in Spanish, by the port of the city, next to Malvarrosa Beach. For me, that was already a crazy way to start the festival, since that was the first Mascletá I experienced, and the first time that I felt the ground shaking like an earthquake.
If you want to have break from Fallas and find a quiet place to have amazing coffee, then check out Bluebell coffee shop in Ruzafa.
The Mascletá is a pyrotechnic event characterized by the achievement of a noisy and rhythmic composition, particularly during daytime. It gets its name from the 'masclet' (very loud firecrackers) that are tied by a wick to form a line or firework display. These are usually fastened at a medium height with ropes or fired by cannons. This is one of the most important activities for the local people from Valencia; there is one Mascletá every day at 2:00 pm from the 2nd until the 19th of March taking place in la Plaza del Ayuntamiento. In the last and most important days of Fallas (15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th of March) people go there to find a good spot to see the Mascletá, 4 hours before it starts. Crazy right?
These are just some of the amazing activities or things you can see throughout the whole festival, as well as the incredible sculptures that will be burnt on the last day of the festival. But in the next story, I will share with you some more events which take place during this colourful and chaotic festival and I will tell you how it ends in detail.
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