Las Fallas Fire Festival: Insanity, Fun and Pyrotechnics at the Iberian Peninsula

Spain is known for its spectacular fiestas. The Las Fallas fire festival of Valencia is the boldest, hottest, craziest and loudest festival celebrated anywhere in the world.

A pyromaniac’s delight, the Las Fallas fire festival literally jolts you out of your sleep and the mad euphoria is unlike what you may have felt anywhere else. The festival displays one of the best pyrotechniques in the world.

This carnival of bonfires take place between March 15 to 19 annually to honor St. Joseph, the father of the nation. The fiesta Las Fallas brings millions from across the world to Valencia to make it an internationally recognized event.

Las Fallas marks the onset of spring in Valencia. The festival dates back to the pre-Christian era.

The highlight of the festival is burning down of huge fallas and impressive fireworks. Fallas are huge effigies or monuments erected all over the streets in Valencia in different shapes and themes. These colorful ninots, meaning puppets or dolls, are made out of cardboard and papier-mâché and are filled with fire crackers and paraded in the streets before they are placed in specific corners in the streets. These fallas are burned in the afternoons of the festival days, triggering fireworks that last for hours, leading to a literal earthshaking experience, amid crazy cheering crowds.

Here: Papier mache figures are burned during the Fallas festival in Valencia, Spain. (Alberto Saiz/Associated Press)

A fireman controls a burning effigy during the finale of the Fallas festival, which welcomes spring and honours Saint Joseph’s Day, in Valencia in the early hours of March 20, 2009. Fallas are giant elaborate sculptures and effigies made of wood and plastic which are burned at the end of the week-long spectacle of processions, fireworks, music and dancing. (REUTERS/Heino Kalis)

Craftsmen on a crane add finishing touches to a figure during the last preparations ahead of the ‘Fallas’ festival in Valencia March 14, 2008. The festival welcomes Spring and honours Saint Joseph’s Day with the burning of giant elaborated sculptures and effigies of wood and plastic. (REUTERS/Heino Kalis)

A man puts the finishing touches to a falla, March 16, 2005, as the city of Valencia celebrates its annual ‘Fallas’ festival. The festival welcomes spring and honours Saint Joseph’s Day with the burning of giant elaborate sculptures and effigies of wood and plastic called ‘fallas’. Walls of flames engulf the city on the last day of the week-long spectacle of processions, fireworks, music and dancing. (REUTERS/Heino Kalis ACO/MD)

A craftsman adds finishing touches to a figure during the last preparations ahead of the “Fallas” festival in Valencia March 14, 2009. The festival welcomes spring and honours Saint Joseph’s Day with the burning of giant elaborate sculptures and effigies of wood and plastic . (REUTERS/Heino Kalis)

A giant figure ahead of the “Fallas” festival. (Reuters)

“Fallas” festival in Valencia. (REUTERS/Heino Kalis)

“Fallas” festival in Valencia. (REUTERS)


Firemen work to extinguish burning structures and figures during the Fallas Festival in Valencia, Spain. (Alberto Saiz/Associated Press)



Every year the city of Valencia celebrates the ancient “Las Fallas” fiesta, a noisy week that is full of fireworks and processions in honor of Saint Joseph which climaxes in the burning of large papier mache figures displayed around the streets of the city. (Alberto Saiz/Associated Press)

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