Valencia's Las Fallas Festival: The Top Events to Attend

Fallas sculptures display on the street during Fallas Festival in Valencia, Spain

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Along with the Tomatina Tomato Fight, Las Fallas is one of the most famous festivals in Valencia (though Tomatina isn't actually in the city itself). Most festivals in Spain revolve around a particular event, for example running in front of bulls or participating in the aforementioned food fight) and Las Fallas is no different. It is the construction and burning of the Fallas sculptures that draws people here. But, unlike many festivals in Spain, there is so much more to see and do at the  Las Fallas Festival.

  • 01 of 10

    La Crema

    Sculpture Burning During Fallas Festival in Valencia, Spain

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    The main reason you'll be at the Las Fallas festival is to witness the burning of the Fallas sculptures on Thursday night. The biggest and most important burning is that of the town hall (ayuntamiento) Falla.

  • 02 of 10

    The Fallas

    Fallas sculptures display on the street during Fallas Festival in Valencia, Spain

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    Before they are burned, the Fallas are on display all over the city for all to see. There are dozens to see, but the main ones are the 'Secció Especial' and the town hall Falla. From the 'Secció Especial' a winner is chosen a few days before the event, which will be saved in the Fallas museum for all eternity. The rest are burned.

  • 03 of 10

    Mascletas

    Large or colorful fireworks mascletá

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    A Mascleta is an audio firework display that takes place every afternoon (at 2 p.m.). The Spanish are famous for their noise and nothing in Spain is as noisy as this. The mascleta can be heard from all over the city, but it is worth getting as close to the Plaza del Ayuntamiento as possible to get the real atmosphere. Acrobats perform in the streets and there is a visual element of sorts to the fireworks as the rockets leave smoke trails as they are detonated.

  • 04 of 10

    La Desperta

    Fireworks in Valencia during Fallas popular fest

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    Forget to set your alarm after partying all night at Las Fallas? Have no fear. The kind locals provide their own wake-up calls, by dropping fire crackers outside people's windows at 8 a.m. The service is done free of charge by the very considerate Valencianos. You won't find this on any official program so ask your hotel where you can get to see one.

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  • 05 of 10

    The Flower Offering

    Las Fallas Festival decorating Virgin with flowers

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    The Las Fallas festival isn't entirely about noise and fire (though it is mainly). It is also about lots of ladies dressing up in pretty dresses and carrying flowers. For two days the city's women and girls parade around Valencia, followed by a full marching band. The processions culminate in the Plaza de la Virgen, where their flowers are 'offered' to a statue of the Virgin.

    Some of the women get very emotional at being part of this event and you will see a lot of them crying as they approach the statue.

  • 06 of 10

    Paella Contests

    Close-up of Spanish paella, Valencia, Valencia Region, Spain

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    Another unofficial part of the Fallas festival, you may be lucky enough to run into a paella contest in the streets. These mainly take place towards the beginning of March, before the main festivities begin. The Valencianos are very proud of their paella. The famous dish was invented in this region, so you may never sample a better paella than those cooked here. Don't be surprised to not see any fish in the paella - original paella doesn't have any seafood in it.

  • 07 of 10

    La Nit del Foc Firework Display

    Fotografías tomadas en el 2014 durante La célebre Nit del Foc (Noche del Fuego), el cual es el mayor espectáculo de fuegos artificiales de la tradicional Fiesta de las Fallas de Valencia.

    Sarah Mendez/Getty Images

    In addition to the daytime audio firework displays (see 'Mascleta' above), there is also a more conventional visual firework display at night. There are fireworks for four nights straight, with the last one (La Nit del Foc) being the biggest. These are some of the biggest and most expensive firework displays you are ever likely to see.

  • 08 of 10

    Eat Buñuelos with Chocolate

    Mexican traditional fried dough buñuelo with piloncillo syrup

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    All over the city, you will see funny misshaped donut things being served in the streets. These are buñuelos and they will be served with a chocolate 'drink' for dunking them in (really it's little more than melted chocolate and is so thick that it's difficult to drink normally).

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  • 09 of 10

    Visit the Las Fallas Museum

    Entrance to the museum Faller

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    Ironically, the Las Fallas Museum at Plaza Monteolivete isn't easy to get to during the festival, due to the fact many roads in the city are cut off for the week. However, if you don't mind walking there (it's a little out of the city), you will get to see all of the Fallas monuments that have won the competition each year and been saved from a fiery death.

  • 10 of 10
    Bullfighter in action

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    Valencia's very central bullfight is home to bullfights throughout the main Fallas week and attracts bullfighting aficionados from all over the country. Tickets sell out in advance, so speak to your hotel about how to get one as soon as you arrive in the city.

    TripSavvy trusts its readers to make their own decisions on the ethics of bullfighting as an attraction.