We are off to Spain today for a festival called The Falles which is held to commemorate St. Joseph. St Joseph was the father of Jesus, who always seems somewhat overshadowed by his wife, so it’s good to know he gets a rather fine festival to himself.
The Falles festival lasts two weeks
The festival lasts two weeks. During the year before the celebrations, a group of people called the Casal faller gather funds to build a cardboard and paper-mâché platform called falla which can tower up to five stories high. They also purchase hand-made puppets called ninots which are paraded around the local area.
The ninots are then placed upon the falla and burnt on the final day of the festival. The ninots and falla are based around a common theme often with a satirical edge. The two weeks of the festival are noisy; each day of Falles begins at 8:00 am with La Despertà when Brass bands appear and march around playing with gusto. They are followed by firecracker throwing fallers. Things quieten down (eventually), until 2pm and then comes The Mascletà, a coordinated firecracker and fireworks display. If you haven’t had your fill of fireworks yet, there are more to come, and on the nights of the 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th there are grand firework displays in Valéncia which culminate in La Nit del Foc.