While thousands of festivals are celebrated all around Spain throughout the year, and there are only a few that bring overseas visitors specifically for the event. The “Fallas Fiesta” which takes place in Valencia from 15th of March till 19th every year is undoubtedly one of those fantastic festival attracting many foreign visitors as well as Spanish tourists from all over the country. The patron saint of carpenters, Saint Joseph, is the precise focus for the festival. It all started back in the middle ages when Carpenter used to hang up planks of woods called parots in the winter to support their candles when they were working.
On the onset of Spring, these species of wood will burn as a way of celebrating the end of dark, winter business days. A few hours later, they began to put clothing on the parot and then start to try to make it identifiable with a well-known local personality. These became the forerunners of the contemporary ninots, the giant cardboard, polyurethane, styrofoam, wooden, plaster, cork and papier mache figures of this day. The authorities later decided to link the firing of the parots with Saint Joseph’s day to try to stop it getting out of control.
At present, each neighbourhood has an organising committee, “the Casal faller,” who raise the necessary finances for constructing the ninots. There is also an area of the city called Ciutat Fallera, where whole groups of workers and designers spend months creating all the incredible towering tableaux. The ninots, which placed at prominent locations throughout the city, are frequently cruel satirical lampoons of well-known Spanish and international celebrities or politicians.
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Every day begins with an originating wake-up call known as La Desperate at the ridiculous time of 8 AM. You will just love woken by brass bands marching down the streets accompanied by those preposterously loud firecrackers, which themselves activate car and shop alarms just to make sure you’re ready for a day’s fun.
Every night there is a firework display in the old river bank, and they escalate in degrees of spectacle until the last night, 19th March, the Night of Fire, La Nit de Foc. It is the prominent event when the enormous creations destroyed. Neighbourhoods will have own fallen infantile for the children at about 10 PM, and then at around midnight, the neighbourhood ‘fallas’ will begin.
The last, grandest fire in the Plaza Ayuntamiento, won’t get under way until 1 AM at the earliest with huge crowds waiting in eager anticipating of the burning. The ninots will all have ben stuffed full with fireworks, the street lights switched off, and the firemen will be in position when the 20 to 30-foot models which took months of painstaking construction will be razed to the ground. Every year, one ninot is spared the ordeal while the rest suffer a spectacular fate.
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Nevertheless loud you think this is going to be you will be wrong. There is no way of starting to describe the amount of noise generated. Pregnant women are forbidden from attending, and each year people are injured or faint. It is true that one should keep the mouth open to allow the sound to escape and not echo around the head or something like that, however one should be prepared to feel the ground shake beneath the feet and the head to spin uncontrollably. It is a rush with no of equals and collective experience.