Las Fallas

Because there's always room for more festivals!


Ronnie McCluskey

Ronnie McCluskey
HomeAway travel expert



Las Fallas!Ask anyone about the world's most famous festivals, and certain names are sure to come up time and again. The Rio de Janeiro Carnival. The New Orleans Mardi Gras. One that may have slid under the radar, however, is Las Fallas. Every spring, the already mesmeric Catalan city of Valencia truly bursts into life for five days with the mother of all fiestas. It is of course the celebration of St Joseph, and locals transform the region into a sea of colour, pyrotechnics and gigantic puppets. A true sensory overload, this is an experience not to be missed when it comes around next year.

Being in Valencia for Las Fallas is a genuinely unforgettable experience. A quick search on HomeAway Holiday Rentals furnishes you with a wide selection of affordable and spacious properties from which you can soak up all the festival has to offer.

Whatever your budget, whatever you’re hoping to take from your trip, we have properties throughout the city that will help you make the most of your time in Valencia. Before you book up, however, give yourself an idea of what to expect - and get into the party spirit early, with our guide to the five days of Las Fallas.

 

Top five Las Fallas attractions


   

Ninots and Fallas Ninots and Fallas

The most prominent feature of Las Fallas is without question the ninots: the festival's characteristic enormous puppets. Each neighbourhood of the city forges its own unique ninots, which are subsequently paraded through the streets to much fanfare. The ninots are then mounted in a prominent position in the neighbourhood, amidst a papier-mâché structure known as a falla. The puppets, by and large, are traditional, but recent years have seen figures as diverse as Shrek, Barack Obama and Lady Gaga lampooned by the satirical committees! The sheer scale of these displays has to be seen to be believed, with many of the colourful ninots towering over the buildings they perch outside.

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La Desperta La Desperta

All parties have to start somewhere, and each day of Las Fallas begins in spectacular fashion with La Desperta. Oh so appropriately translated as “the wake up call”, this daily ritual sees brass bands marching through the city streets at the crack of light, scaring up action before even the cockerel has had a chance to crow! And as if this wasn’t enough, they are closely followed by a horde of revellers tossing firecrackers, the latter generally doing their best to churn the landscape into an ocean of smoke and noise. There can be few more dramatic and bewildering ways to kick off a day, and the locals wholeheartedly embrace the practice with prideful fervour. 

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La Mascleta La Mascleta

While La Desperta is something of an anarchic affair, La Mascleta can only be described as an altogether more organised brand of chaos. Not for the fainthearted, or those inclined to a nervous disposition (the authorities have in fact banned pregnant women from attending), this is the noisier, naughtier cousin of Edinburgh’s 1 o’clock gun. At 2pm each day, the mayor signals from the balcony of City Hall to begin La Mascleta: at which point each neighbourhood commences its own firework and pyrotechnic display. You could be forgiven for thinking you’d been caught in an earthquake, so violent is the shaking of the ground as the madness continues.

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Events Events

Fireworks, flames and noise are very much the order of the day at Las Fallas, but on those rare occasions the insanity lets up, there are plenty of sights and attractions to be enjoyed around the city. A raft of traditional Spanish events can be enjoyed - paella cooking competitions and bullfights are ten-a-penny, and there’s a seemingly illimitable supply of concerts and parades. For two whole days in the festival, you can also witness La Ofrena de flors, when representatives from each neighbourhood offer flowers to a statue of the Virgin Mary. It may be advisable, however, to take the time to see as many of the fallas as possible before the festival’s grand finale unfolds…

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La Crema La Crema

A festival of this magnitude can only end with a bang, and Las Fallas does. Literally. On the final evening, the streets are engulfed by a torrent of flames and noise, as the famous Fire Parade winds its way towards Porta de la Mar Square. At around midnight, the curtain closes for another year, but not before one final blast of pyro-inspired insanity. Every falla, with the exception of one saved by a public vote, is set ablaze using the firecrackers stowed inside, and the entire city erupts into something resembling a colossal, open-air nightclub, the constant whipcrack of fireworks replacing the music. Don’t worry, though: a squadron of fire fighters are close at hand, ensuring proceedings never get out of hand.

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Valencia Holiday Homes

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