Las Fallas (Fallas traditionally in Valencian ) is a
festival with a strong tradition in the city of Valencia and
different populations of Valencia, held from 15 to 19 March
. Today, this festival has become a major tourist attraction
because they are classified as International Tourist
Interest . These parties are also called Josephine parties
or festes Sant Josep (in Valencian), and held in honor of
St. Joseph , patron saint of carpenters.
The Fallas Commissions
Each district of the city establishes a club or
"Commission" which is responsible for organising the
districts part in the celebration. They collect money
through fund raising during the year, and organise the
creation of the floats and parades. As they are a
central part of social life in the districts they end up
also doing more and being a social organisation for the
There are between 300 and 600 Fallas Commissions in
Valencia, though not all are very active.
The monuments are prepared weeks in advance and then all
Fallas must be in position by midnight on 15 March, which
involves a lot of muscle power and last minute adjustments!
One of the few day-time firework shows in the world.
Every day of the festival at 2PM there is a barrage of
fireworks called Mascletą. Firecrackers for sound and
rockets for height contribute to an amazing spectacle which
can be heard all over the city. Each Mascleta,
or firecracker, produces it's own individual sound and the
coordinated barrage of ground and sky explosions makes it's
own kind of music.
Meant to be heard rather than seen there are no patterns
or colours in these fireworks. Rather it is the sound
of bangs and whistles which is important and last from 5 to
10 minutes on each day. By the end of the display the
square is full of smoke and it is hard to see.
Each days Mascleta is different with artists competing to
be the ones to present their interpretation of this
traditional art form.
During the days of the display the center pedestrian area
of the Plaza is enclosed by high metal mesh barriers to
protect the public.