The “Fallas” Festival

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The “Fallas” festival is THE festival of art, sound, music, light, fire and, last but not least, Valencian culture …
 
It is celebrated by everyone, even by the youngest as the Valencian school holidays coincide with the Fallas in order to enable children to participate in the committees of the party.
For the occasion, every part of ​​the city is stormed by “fallero” (artists) that expose their works: the “Fallas”. The “Fallas” can be as high as the surrounding buildings and as wide as the square where they will be exposed.
 
Origin of Fallas:
 
Everything started in the city of Valencia, where the carpenters burned the accumulated useless chips and sticks on the night before ‘Saint Jose’s’ day. Time later, the stick that the carpenters used to hold the oil lamp with during the winter night shifts, became animated with rags and a hat for a head, giving it a human resemblance. At this moment, the concept of the “Ninot” was born and carpenters started to place the figures on top of a pedestal to offer better views to the public. During the 18th century, the tradition evolved into the creation of elaborated ‘Fallas’ that expressed the political and social situation of the country.
 
Present day:
 
On the 16th of March, the “plantà” takes place: the “Fallas” are set up to be admired, commented or criticized by the Valencians. Each ‘Falla’ is designed by a different committee, which usually spend around 10 months to create and develop the final piece of art. The "Fallas" are built around a wooden frame and usually are surrounded by "ninots" (approximatively 30 to 70 “ninots” depending on the committee). All the compositions want to convey a message, always satirical, most of the time around politics, and famous episodes of current society.
On the night of the 19th of March, at midnight, they burn them all: it’s the "cremà", where everybody gets outside to see the parades, drink, eat and dance. Be aware of the ‘petardos’, especially the ‘borrachos’, which are a type of firework that are thrown from every side!
 
Typical food:
 
While in the city, you can indulge yourself with a wide range of food. Start with a horchata before lunch, then get a paella, fideuá or ‘arroz al horno’ (rice cooked in the oven). In the evening don’t forget to drink a hot chocolate with buñuelos or churros. And for dinner, there is no better option than having some seafood as a starter followed by local fish…everything accompanied by some Spanish wine, of course!