By far, one of the most ridiculous amazing times I have had in Spain was two weeks ago in Valencia for Las Fallas. From what I understand from my Valencian friend, this festival started from carpenters burning old furnitures and evolved in the creation of these intricate fallas of things that they local population wants to rid themselves of (sins, bad politicians, etc.), such as the one pictured above. I would have loved to learn a little more about what each way was suppose to represent.
Just a few hours from Barcelona by train Valencia is an amazing destination, especially in March for this amazing festival. Both the day and nightime fireworks are spectacular. If you aren’t close enough to have ash in your hair afterwards you just haven’t done it right.
The Light Castle
Be sure to stop at the intricately decorated Light Castle, where every evening there is a light show corrdinated to the latest pop music.
The pyrotechnic fun didn’t stop at nightly fireworks. Every day at 14:00 the entire city crowds in to Plaza de La Ayuntamiento to catch the Mascleta. This is a day time fireworks display that is really all about the sounds. It’s unlike anything you will have seen before.
Picture old time guns going off for a solid 20 minutes ending in a huge cloud of smoke and an almost musical explosion sequence. The only problem with standing around and waiting for 2 hours for it to start was the lack of bathrooms (coupled with the beer drinking).
Did you know that paella originated in Valencia?
Apart from buñuelos and churros, make sure that you take advantage of the many kinds of paella that you can find here. Make sure you don’t skip the original paelle serves with rabbit. You won’t be disappointed (nor hungry!).
Many of the locals dress us as Falleros and Falleras in these crazy intricate (and expensive) dresses. It’s an honor and something you pay lots of money for. The dresses are extremely intricate, colorful, and traditional.
The parade of the Falleras leads to this grand statue of the Virgin Mary made completely of flowers, that the Fallers carry in the procession. How cool!
In true Spanish fashion, the end of the festival also includes with fire. On the last day you pick your favorite falla to watch burn to the ground. Yes, I’m completely serious. It was extremely intense and it’s sure to make you very emotional. A festival not to miss!