On the 15th of March, in the coastal town of Valencia, Spain, when the Night of Fire or Nit de Foc fiesta begins, one can come across beautiful fireworks, which end up lighting everything around. With the usual burning or “quema”, the explosions mark the beginning of the partying.

In the streets and plazas of Valencia, grand papier-mache figures are created. On Saint Joseph’s day, which usually falls on March 19th, they are then set alight.

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Back in the day, old furniture and clothes used to be thrown into the fire . . .then, figures that represented hated politicians and rulers were cast into the fire, too. Today, a lot of the figures are recognizable political figures, hated or not.

This party-time used to take place to celebrate the lighter nights and the coming of spring. To celebrate the lighter nights, the local crafts workers used to burn the wooden lanterns. In 1595, Las Fallas was reported as a celebration that was looked down on by the puritans, as some of the figures represented some of them!

Las Fallas tends to attract a great number of people to the fiestas which are five festive days. Pyrotechnics build incredible displays. They build firework castles that are designed with the intention of making as much noise as possible for ten minutes.

In this amazing party, which lasts all night, the spring is welcomed. There’s music, bands and a lot of dancing. This takes place every year. The work for the Fallas the following years begins the following day which is March 20th, as it takes an entire year of hard implantation to create the grand figures.

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There are other highlights that take place during these five days of celebration, with plenty of dancing and live music. This is not the only party for the people of Valencia. Just a week before Las Fallas, the Moors and Christians Fiesta takes place. In this fiesta, one can spot people wearing fancy dresses from back in the day.

The Spaniards definitely know how to party. The mascletaes, which is a pyrotechnic specialty of this town, takes place from the 16th to the 19th. Visitors are advised to arrive at 1:30 p.m. It should be noted that when the display begins, it is impossible to retreat through the crowd, as it is constructed of thousands of cheerful individuals; therefore, it’s advisable to bring some ear plugs!

For more information on the history and making of the fallas, see this post.

About The Author

Amancay Diaz

Born in the UK to an English mother and Spanish father, Amancay relocated to her father's home town of Alboraya in 2010. She moved to the centre of Valencia in 2012, where she works as a real estate agent selling properties to expats from the Northern European countries.

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