Did you miss me? I thought so.
Anyway, I would like to continue writing about my Fallas experience and focus more on the events that happen during the week. (For those of you that don’t care, sorry. Too many people have messaged me asking me to write this; therefore, I must.)
Disclaimer: I am by no means a “Fallas Expert.” I am simply stating facts as to how I have understood them what I have experienced.
If you missed Part 1 of this blog post, click here!
Without further adieu, here is a short guide to events that happen during Fallas:
La Despertà – Each day begins with “wake-up call,” which is called La Despertà. At 8:00am, bands parade down the streets to attempt to wake you up for the day’s festivities and if the band doesn’t wake you, the fireworks will. Fallers follow the bands with large throwing crackers. Now for you Americans reading this, these are not like those cute little poppers. These are loud crackers that basically sound like guns going off, but those are not the worst ones. *insert La Mascletà here*
La Masceltà – If you like extremely loud fireworks that basically sound like terrorists are bombing the city, you will love the masceltà. Every day at 2:00pm, there is a large fireworks display in Plaça de l’Ajuntament. Yes, you read that correctly. 2:00pm in the afternoon. To the Valencian community, firework displays are for the ears and not the eyes. They basically want to see how loud they can make these explosions.
Ofrena de Flors – On March 17-18, each of the casals fallers take a flower offering to the Virgin Mary. They combine all of the flowers to cover the statue and the pedestal. (This is just one of the MANY processionals that happen. Honestly, if you just go towards Plaça de l’Ajuntament, you will find people walking in the streets.)
La Nit del Foc – From March 15-18 there are firework displays in the Turia, the old riverbed in Valencia. Now these are normal fireworks that happen at night. Anyway, each night gets progressively grander until the last night, which is referred to as “a Nit del Foc, the Night of Fire. These were simply amazing; however, be prepared for mass amounts of people in a very, very small space. Getting home after La Nit del Foc was my worst experience with crowds in my life. If you suffer from any sort of claustrophobia, I don’t know how close to the front you should be. Don’t get me wrong. I still definitely recommend going, just don’t expect large amounts of space or air.
La Cremà – This is the climax of the whole event: all of the fallas are burnt as huge bonfires. This is why the statues are called fallas (“torches”). The falla infantil are burnt first at 10:00pm. After all of the little ones have been set on fire they start burning the large ones, eventually ending with the falla in Plaça de l’Ajuntament. Warning about the Cremà: after we picked which statue we wantde to see burn, we decided to go early and just hang out by it to get a good spot in front. Unfortunately, that didn’t work too well because they eventually just pushed us out to a side street to barricade off the area. To be honest, where we ended up was still a great spot; however, just be aware that they may push you around just because they can. Another warning: think about how close you actually want to be when the statues are burning.We were fairly far back and we could still feel the heat on our faces as watched it burn.
Like I said at the beginning, I am not an expert and there are certainly more events that happen during Fallas, but this is a basic guide to get you started. I encourage any tourist to simply walk around and discover things during Fallas. You literally never know what you could stumble upon.
Adventure Lesson Learned: What we find weird or strange is largely based on culture.
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