Las Fallas of Valencia
By Marie Sonzini
very year, from March 16 to 19, visitors from Spain and other places, come more and more numerous sharing with the people of Valencia the few days of sheer madness that are the Fallas. Lesser known than Oktoberfest, the Fallas of Valencia are becoming by word of mouth the most popular festival in Europe.
What exactly are the Fallas ?
The Fallas is THE feast in the pure sense of art.
Las Fallas are the celabration of the Valencian culture, of the noise, music, gunpowder, light and fire, the whole lot pushed to the limit. The Fallas are also the children festival.
The Fallas, that is also and above all everyone's party, from the youngest to the oldest.
The fallas sculptures
Each area of the city, through their respective fallas commissions, orders to fallas artists "Artista Fallero" pieces of work called "falla".
A falla monument can be as high as the surrounding buildings and as wide as the place where it is exposed.
The main monument of the work "falla" is built around a wooden frame. It is made of composite materials often painted with bright colors and every detail through and through is particularly neat.
Each falla is surrounded and illustrated by figurines "ninots", meaning doll in valencian, whose number varies from 30 to 70. They form a whole whose message is always satirical, often saucy and spares neither political nor society.
Celebration of fire and ephemeral art
The fallas sculptures are always put in place on the 16th of March, it is the "Plantá" of all the fallas. They will to be admired, criticized and commented by the Valencians for 4 days before they are all doomed to flames on the night of the 19th of March at midnight, it is the "Cremá" of all the Fallas.
The Fallas festival and the Children
Children are not forgotten. They play an equally important place as adults in the Fallas festival.
Just like adults, children participate in commissions. They have their own falla and ninots, Queen "Fallera Mayor" with its courtyards and their parade, mascletà, fireworks, plantà and finally their own Cremà.
There are as many fallas for children (falla infantil) than fallas for adults. Besides schools close one week for Fallas holidays to enable everyone to fully enjoy the festival.