Las Fallas festival is a traditional celebration that happens in Valencia, Spain every year in March. It is known to be Spain’s loudest celebration and arguably the coolest. Each neighborhood in Valencia is in charge of building a falla, which is a huge, cartoon-like wooden structure. These neighborhoods spend the entire year preparing their falla only to burn it down on the night of March 19th which is known as “La Crema.” This is the biggest night of the festival when it might feel like all of Valencia is burning down.
I sadly was not in Valencia on March 19th because it was a Thursday, but since Las Fallas lasts for a couple of weeks with other festivities, Lindsey and I went the weekend before La Crema. For example, everyday at 2 pm in front of the city hall was “La Mascleta” which was five straight minutes of pure loudness. It was crazy! Imagine 100 billion of those tiny poppers that kids throw on the streets going off all at once with a ton of smoke. The crowd was really into it which made it really exciting.
The rest of the weekend consisted of eating, drinking, and walking around. There were lots of pop-up stands selling food and drinks. Since La Mascleta was at Spanish lunchtime, once it ended, the Spaniards FLOCKED to every restaurant and pop-up stand to eat. Lindsey and I miraculously found two open seats at a stand and we camped out there for a while with a jarra of cerveza and Spanish tapas. We also walked around the city looking at all the different fallas. They were so detailed, I couldn’t believe they would be burning them all down just a few short days later!
Valencia has been a city that I have been wanting to visit since I first came to Spain but for some reason I have just never made it, so I was very excited to finally be there! Eating Paella in Valencia has specifically been on my Spanish bucket list because this famous Spanish rice dish originates from Valencia. Fortunately for us, we were staying at a hostel where the woman who owned it was from Valencia and she offered a paella menu del dia (a popular meal menu all over Spain that includes a drink, bread, often two dishes, and a dessert or coffee) for just 10 Euros. The hostel also opens up as a public restaurant where many people from Valencia actually go to eat her paella, so we figured if we wanted authentic paella for a good price, this was the place to get it! And it was so delicious that I got it twice that weekend!
Overall, spending a weekend in Valencia during Las Fallas was a fun time but it wasn’t as crazy as people told me it would be. It is thought by many to be the best festival in Spain! It makes me wish that we were there the night of La Crema even more because maybe it gets crazy once it feels like the whole city is burning down. Either way I’m glad we went so that I could see the fallas in person and finally visit Valencia!