The Valèncian festival, declared a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage event in 2016, returns this year.
Las Fallas Returns in 2022
After a two-year hiatus, València’s Festival returns this month. Declared an event of Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 2016, Las Fallas has returned with traditional acts such as the mascleates (fireworks), late night parties, and art installations where around 800 monuments fill the streets. To experience Las Fallas at its best, visit from 15 – 19 March.
The origin of Las Fallas
Hundreds of years ago, València’s carpenters would burn old remains from their workshops every 19 March, coinciding with the celebrations of San José, the patron saint of carpenters. This marked the end of winter and welcomed spring.
While the festival has changed over the years, Las Fallas has maintained its heritage and traditions. Every 15 March, giant sculptures are set aflame in large bonfires. While burning, these authentic pieces of art, created by the guild of Fallas artists, are usually accompanied by musicians, pyrotechnics, costumes and florists.
Fallas 2022 – More alive than ever
Las Fallas was affected by the pandemic but will return again in the streets of València. This year, Covid safety measures, such as wearing masks, will continue in all indoor activities and outdoor events where social distancing cannot be guaranteed -see here.
Gunpowder, music & art
One of the most spectacular acts of Las Fallas is the mascletà – Valèncian-style fireworks – occurs at 2 pm every day until 19 March. In the evening, guests can visit the Turia Gardens for fireworks at the castle.
On the nights of 15 – 16 March, València begins the planta, the erection of monuments in the streets where 800 works of art are spread across 400 locations in the city. The most spectacular are placed in the historic centre – Ciutat Vella – and the neighbourhoods of Ruzafa and Gran Vía. The best way to see these is with a guided tour.
The festival has an awards ceremony in which the Fallas artists collect prizes for their masterpieces, as well la ofrenda – the offering – in which the city offers flowers to the Virgen de los Desamparados, the patron saint of València. Festival-goers dress in traditional attire and walk the streets to the beat of local musicians whilst carrying bouquets. The procession ends at the Plaza de la Virgen, where a giant image of the Patron Saint is installed and covered with flowers.
La Cremà – the end and beginning of the festival
With the ‘Cremà’ comes the final act of the Fallas. On 19 March, the sculptures are set aflame in great bonfires that cover the city, starting at 8pm with smaller statues and 11pm with the larger ones and the winners.
With the bonfires come the finale fireworks, which signal the end of Las Fallas. The old remains are burned away, and the city looks toward the future in a magical ceremony of spring and renewal.
Discover more at visitvalencia.com Events are free to attend.