Not many think of Valencia when choosing a holiday destination. Although it’s the country’s 3rd biggest city, people seem to know it only for citrus and paella. This is unfortunate since this sun drenched Mediterranean city has great beaches, architecture and festivals.
Fallas de Valencia
One of the brightest Valencian celebrations is the Falles (Las Fallas). A yearly month long festival held in March is a reason strong enough to come to Valencia. Reaching its highest point on March 19 – the holiday of Saint Joseph – this festival is full of parades, light shows, displays, and other colorful street events. Every street is alive since morning till after midnight.
The festival’s events
The festival’s most notable event is the contest of monuments (also called “fallas”) involving more than 350 neighborhood teams. A “falla” can take a whole year to construct and can cost as much as 200.000 euro! It sounds crazy when you understand this creation will be burnt on the festival’s final night on March 19. The assemblies that are burnt on La Cremà – fallas – consist of a paper-mâché figures fixed to a cardboard equipped with a firecracker.
As for more touching and moving events of the celebration, L’Ofrena de Flors occurs on March 17-18 and involves over 50.000 of women and kids. Dressed in traditional outfits, they march down the city’s streets to the basilica of Our Lady Forsaken and offer flowers to the Virgin Mary. The flowers collected during this event can amount up to forty tons.
However, there is another, not so touching parade too, that takes place prior to La Cremà, in the commercial center of Valencia, when the citizens dress up in demons’ and fire breathing creatures’ costumes, to later light up their huge colorful assemblies.