For almost three weeks, Valencia “dresses up” to welcome more than a million tourists and celebrate together the most anticipated event of the year: Las Fallas. Declared by UNESCO in 2016 as Intangible Cultural Heritage, Las Fallas of Valencia are an example of the culture and idiosyncrasy of the capital of the Turia. In this article we tell you about the origin of this particular celebration and the most important events of the day.

If this is the first time you visit Valencia during the Fallas, you may be surprised to see how the city has gradually been transformed into a huge festival hall. Everywhere you go there are churros and hot chocolate stalls (some open 24 hours a day!), verbenas, mobile discos, carpas, food and craft fairs… And more!

On every street corner you come across people dressed in the typical Fallas costumes or accidentally stumble across a mascletà (fireworks display). As night falls, you are surprised by the fireworks displays and, almost without realising it, you end up getting lost in the dozens of illuminated streets that adorn the city.

In fact, walking through Valencia during Fallas can be a unique experience, immersing you in a magical territory full of surreal monuments. It is to witness the graceful counterpoint between the traditional music of the local bands and the vibrant modernity of the verbenas. It is, after all, to visit a fairytale land, invaded by the bang of firecrackers and filled with smiling people… It’s impressive, isn’t it?

Tomorrow, like every 19th of March, this great celebration comes to a stunning end with the burning of the fallas in different parts of the city. But did you know why this day has been chosen to do so?

It is believed that the origin of the Fallas dates back to an ancient pagan tradition that celebrated the arrival of spring and bid farewell to the cold of winter. It was also considered a good luck ritual.

For this reason, the craftsmen’s guild, especially the carpenters, would form a bonfire with old junk and the remains of the material they had used in their work. They did this to attract prosperity and “burn” all the bad things that had happened the previous year. These bonfires were also stirred with the masts that supported the lanterns that illuminated the alleys during the long days of darkness.

As time went by, the festivity acquired a religious character and the 19th of March was chosen to carry out the customary ritual of burning (Cre, in Valencian). It is on this date that Catholics commemorate the feast day of Saint Joseph, the father of Jesus Christ, carpenter by profession and patron saint of the carpenters’ guild.

As you can see, the 19th of March was the perfect day to continue with this particular tradition which, years later, would evolve into what we know today as the Fallas of Valencia.

Do you already know what to do this Tuesday, 19th March? If you haven’t decided yet, we leave you the programme so that you can enjoy, just like our Spanish students, all that this wonderful festivity can offer.


11 a.m. Offering of flowers by the Falleras Mayores de Valencia and their Courts of Honour in front of the image of the Patriarca, on Saint Joseph’s Bridge.
12 p.m. Mass in honour of Sant Josep, in the Cathedral of Valencia, officiated by the Archbishop of Valencia and offered by Junta Central Fallera and the Guild of Carpenters. It will be attended by the Falleras Mayores de Valencia and their Courts of Honour.
2 p.m. «Mascletà» in the Town Hall square.
7 p.m. Cabalgata del Fuego: the parade will start from Russafa street, in the direction of Colón street, until it reaches Puerta del Mar square.
8 p.m. «Cremà» of fallas infantiles.
8:30 p.m. «Cremà» of the falla infantil that has won the first prize in the Special Section.
9 p.m. «Cremà» of the falla infantil and fireworks dispaly in the Town Hall square.
10 p.m. «Cremà» of all the fallas of Valencia.
10:30 p.m. «Cremà» of the falla that has won the first prize in the Special Section.
11 p.m. «Cremà» of the fallas in the Town Hall square and fireworks display.

We hope you enjoyed today’s topic and we invite you to read our next article. Remember that in our Spanish courses you will learn this and much more. Take a look at our  Spanish courses and start improving your Spanish today!