In years gone by, as Spring approached and the days grew longer and lighter, the folk of Valencia used to burn leftovers or offcuts from around the neighbourhood. The lamp was ceremoniously placed into the town square, surrounded by rags with a hat etc on (kind of like a Guy Fawkes) calling it a Ninot or Falla.
On March 1st, the first string of firecrackers which are known as Mascletas is lit and fired in the Town Square heralds the beginning of the festival period which runs from 16th March to Midnight on 19th March 2014.
In the interim period, the area is lavishly decorated with more than 700 figures/effigies prior to the most spectacular event on 17th and 18th march between 4:00pm and Midnight including a parade, with members of the Fallas in their spectacular, beautifully created traditional costumes.
This beautiful and entertaining event which pokes fun at everyone equally, with references in a humorous way to sociopolitical situations all depicted by Fallas and Ninots since the mid 1800’s.
At midnight on the 19th, the festival closes with powerful imagery as the beautiful Fallas and Ninots are set alight apart from one which is voted for by the Falleros which will be kept in the Fallero Museum. There are, of course, lots of fireworks and a massive bonfire too.
Every year, hundreds of pyro madmen (not mad-men) go over to Valencia for this absolutely fascinating event which is loud, full of pyro and of course gives them a great opportunity to meet up before the wedding season starts in earnest and they are all back to being wet, muddy and smelling of fireworks day in, day out.
Good luck everyone in Valencia and we can look forward to some brilliant photographs and video footage.