Experience the fiery Las Fallas festival in Valencia
Join Topdeck and the people of Valencia in Spain as they celebrate their patron saint's day and the passing of winter. Las Fallas takes place in March each year and is a fiery party of ferocious proportions!
Don't forget to check out Topdeck's fantastic Festival Rewards for great discounts when booking festival trips!
What's it all about?
Las Fallas (pronounced "las fah-yas") means fire torch, and is arguably the coolest, biggest, craziest and most fun Spanish festival! This festival in Valencia has been celebrated each March 19th as far back as the 18th Century and began when people celebrated St. Joseph's Day, the patron saint of carpentry.
In the early days rag dolls were strung up and ninots (figurines) were put on platforms in various places around the city, supposedly representing people or events which the locals were critical of. The younger people would then collect all of these and that evening they were burned in a huge bonfire, or 'Fallas'!
The festival has changed a little since then... lots of different committees (falleros) still make platforms with ninots on them, but now they are now intricate floats which can be wheeled and displayed throughout the whole city. These days the huge figures represent famous people and current events and are referred to as 'Fallas' themselves – there are over 700 of them! On March 15th the public vote for their favourite float and the winner is the only one which does not burn on the huge bonfire!
Las Fallas is an amazing festival with very few international tourists, so you can be sure of a true Spanish experience.
Not just a festival of fire, it's also a festival of music. Events happen each day beginning with 'La Despertada' – a brass band which parade through the streets and act as a wake-up call!
Each day at 2pm you can experience 'la Mascletá' in Plaza del Ayuntamiento, an explosive display of firecrackers and fireworks which draws in crowds of locals. The final crescendo of noise creates a huge cheer from the crowd!
Each night there is a fireworks display in the old riverbed of Valencia, and on the evening of the 19th is 'La Cremada', when all the Fallas are burnt – a treat for all the senses!
Valencia is also the third largest city in Spain and is the home of paella, so beyond the Las Fallas events there is no shortage of things to see and do in this awesome city! Experience the nightlife, explore the beautiful old quarter, visit fantastic museums or join us on an optional bike tour.
The best way to get to Valencia is by flying directly into the city's airport. Easyjet offers budget flights from London to Valencia all year round.
Alternatively, flying indirectly (with a stopover somewhere in Portugal or Spain) will often save budget conscious travellers a bit of money, if you're willing to add a little extra time to your journey.
As the festival gets closer and flight prices increase, there are still options for those who would like to save on costs and see a bit more of Spain. Cheap flights into Alicante, Barcelona or Madrid airports can be booked with a number of budget airlines, and there are direct trains to Valencia from each of these major cities. Train tickets can be booked online at http://www.renfe.es.
From Alicante or Madrid the train journey is about 2 hours, and from Barcelona about 3 hours.