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The Traveller's Magazine
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Known largely as one of the best spring festivals of the year, Valencia’s Las Fallas is one party that is not to be missed this March. Can you think of any other city that rings in the new season with artistically crafted papier-mâché puppets and then lights them on fire amongst a huge fireworks display? Didn’t think so.

What happens during Las Fallas?

The city, to say the least, is taken over by huge (really, humongous!) puppets that take an entire year, sometimes longer, to design, construct and assemble. The puppets are made out of papier-mâché over wood frames, designed entirely by local talent, some as tall as 15m! Each neighbourhood of the city sponsors its own puppet, or falla. One of the most exciting moments of the festival is the first morning, when the whole city awakes to find the streets filled with upwards of 350 of these fallas in all the different neighbourhoods.   This year the show starts on March 15th, lasting four days and ending with a huge bang on the 19th.

Salvador Dali

The big moment of the festival comes at the end of the four days, after everyone has had the chance to go around and see all the displays, usually portraying satirical situations with celebrities, local customs and politicians. Valencia has self-proclaimed themselves the pyrotechnic capital of the world and for good reason. Every day at 2pm, around lunch time, you can hear deafening blasts around the city, followed by colourful explosions. The grand finale of the show however is the real-deal. They take off at midnight while each falla is lit on fire, turning into a fiery explosion within seconds.

The best tip for the festival:

Book your hotel in advance. Way in advance. This is the biggest four days of the year for the city, not just for foreign visitors but Spaniards coming for a taste of Valencia’s fire show as well. Finding last minute hotels in Valencia won’t be easy, but it’s not impossible.

Have you ever been to Las Fallas before?

Imgs: fire: stvcr / dali: anotherchris, Flickr cc.

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