Before they are burned, the Fallas in Valencia is on display all over the city for all to see. There are dozens to see, though the main ones are the ‘Secció Especial’ and the town hall Falla. From the ‘Secció Especial’ a winner is chosen a few days before the event, which will be saved in the Fallas museum for all eternity. The rest are to be cremated at the end of the festival.
A Mascleta is an audio firework display that takes place every afternoon (at 2 pm). The Spanish are famous for their noise and nothing in Spain is as noisy as this. To make it even better, mascleta can be heard from all over the city, but it is worth getting as close to the Plaza del ayuntamiento as possible to get the real atmosphere. Acrobats perform in the streets and there is a visual element of sorts to the fireworks as the rockets leave smoke trails as they are detonated.
Forgot to set your alarm after partying all night at Las Fallas? Have no fear! The kind locals provide their own wake-up call, by dropping firecrackers outside people’s windows at 8 am. Not only is it very considerate of the Valencianos, but the service is also done free of charge! You won’t find this on any official program so ask your hostel where you can get to see it.
The Flower Offering
The city’s women and girls parade around Valencia, followed by a full marching band. These processions culminate in the Plaza de la Virgen, where their flowers are ‘offered’ to a statue of the Virgin.
Another unofficial part of the Fallas festival, you may be lucky enough to run into a paella contest in the streets. These mainly take place towards the beginning of March, before the main festivities begin. The Valencianos are very proud of their paellas – this famous dish was invented in this region, so you may never sample a better paella than one of the paella cooked here. However, don’t be surprised to not see any fish in the paella – original paella doesn’t have any seafood in it!
La Nit del Foc Firework Display
In addition to the daytime audio firework displays, there is also a more conventional visual firework display at night. There are fireworks every night from the 15th to the 18th, with the last one (La Nit del Foc) being the biggest. These are some of the biggest and most expensive fireworks displays you are ever likely to see.
Eat Buñuelos with Chocolate
All over the city, you will see funny misshaped donut things being served in the streets. These are buñuelos, which are usually served with a chocolate ‘drink’ meant to be used for dunking (really it’s little more than melted chocolate and is so thick that it’s difficult to drink normally)
Visit the Las Fallas Museum
Ironically, the Las Fallas Museum at Plaza Monteolivete isn’t easy to get to during the festival, due to the fact many roads in the city are cut off for the week. However, if you don’t mind walking there (it’s a little out of the city), you will get to see all of the Fallas monuments that have won the competition each year and been saved from a fiery death.
The main reason you’ll be at the Las Fallas festival is to witness the burning of the Fallas sculptures, which happens at midnight. The biggest and most important burning is that of the town hall (plaza del ayuntamiento). Trust me, the burning of the Fallas in Valencia won’t just attract the pyromaniacs among us.