The Fallas today
Valencia, an example of modernity, a Mediterranean harbour and a capital that hosts great events, is transformed in the month of March to become a city dedicated to its festivity, music and gunpowder. The Fallas, as the penultimate fire festivities, have remained as spectacular, disproportionate and baroque as Valencia itself over the centuries.
Towards the end of winter, the city fills itself with the colour of flowers and gunpowder to greet the spring and over a million visitors, who visit over 700 fallas among the music of bands and the din of mascletàs. Nevertheless, keep in mind that, during these days, you can also enjoy the expositions in the Valencia Institute of Modern Art (IVAM) and the San Pío V Museum of Fine Arts, visit the City of Arts and Sciences and even discover the seafaring soul of the city by enjoying a fine paella after the mascletà.
On March 15, the plantà (assembly of the monuments)begins, and every falla is in place on the 16th at eight in the morning, for a total of over 700 monuments, some of which are 25 metres high. Art and satire are intertwined in the monuments erected during the fallas week, from March 12 to 19, on each corner of the city’s streets, as caricatures of social and political life.
As every year, the cridà (call), the invitation of the greater falleras (representantives of the Fallas groups) of the city, Marta Agustín and María Berbel, marks the beginning of the festivities. To visit the Ninot Exposition, the plantà, to participate in the Parade of the Kingdom, to enjoy artificial fire castles, bullfights, the offering of flowers to the Virgin and the Nit del Foc are but a few of the dates you can’t miss during the fallas, along with the cremà, the final apotheosis of the festivities. As a presage of spring, the Fallas are enjoyed in the streets due to the good weather, and because the entire city is closed to traffic. The sound of festive music and the smell of gunpowder and flowers accompany another typically Valencian aroma: that of buñuelos (sweet fritters). It is traditional to stroll through the streets of the city looking at the fallas while enjoying a delicious chocolate with bunyols de carabassa (sweet pumpkin fritters). From March 1st in Valencia, everybody can come and see the mascletà, a symphony of noise, at the Town Hall square, at 2 PM. The mascletà is a show meant to amaze your ears.