Flowers, fires and fiesta in Valencia

MiMove on 2020-02-27

Spain is well known for its many fiesta. One of the more interesting ones is Las Fallas that takes place in Valencia in March 15-19 each year. Valencia is normally a quiet city but during the festival, it is transformed into a place of craziness. There are fires, festivities, and firecrackers while the population increases from one million to more than three million.  

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Sait Josef’s day

The 19th is Saint Josef’s day and the original reason for the celebration. Josef was Virgin Mary’s partner and a carpenter by profession. Saint Josef is the patron of the region as well as the patron of carpenters.

During the beginning of the festival, the Virgen de Los Desamparados (our Lady of the Forsaken) is celebrated. More than 100 000 people take to the streets and wearing traditional costumes while carrying white and red carnations. In Plaza de la Virgen they stick the flowers onto a wooden structure symbolizing the virgin. Towards the end of the fiesta; the virgin is fully-clothed by all the flowers and only the virgin’s head is still bare.  

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Each neighbourhood has its own committee raising money for the large ninots being built. Ninot is huge figures made from wood or papier marché, often with satirical or political connotations. Many figures put together make up a scene called Les Falles. There are also competitions where the best and most interesting ninots are rewarded. The fiesta culminates the night between March the 19th and the 20th when the ninots are set fire to. That night is called Nit del Foc – the Night of Fire.

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