That’s it! Fallas 2023 has come to an end. This year, we experienced almost everything the festival had to offer; never before have we gone so deep into Fallas. We’ve been covering the from the beginning of February, starting with the fireworks for the gala in honor of the Fallera Mayor Infantil, and ending on March 19th, with the Cremá. It’s been intense, exhausting, often scary, and of course, very, very fun.
One of the first things we did this year, was visit the Ninot Exhibition in February. This is the best place to get an idea about the themes of the year, and note down any especially intriguing figures, so that we can visit them in their full glory later during the festival. On the last Sunday of February, the day of the Cridà arrives. This is a big day, starting with the Despertà, then the entrance of the bands, the first Mascletà at the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, and concluding with the Cridà in the evening, which is the official opening ceremony. This year, we had the chance to watch the Cridà spectacle from the rooftop of this boutique hotel.
On March 1st, the beating drum of Fallas became unstoppable; every day, there was a 2pm Mascletà at the city’s main square, which dictated our rhythm for the ensuing 19 days. Also at the beginning of March the first pieces of the Fallas figures started to arrive, and on the first Saturday of this month we got spoiled with so many fireworks, that we had to make some tough decisions about which shows to watch. We missed some, but don’t feel too bad for us — we still managed to enjoy five big fireworks throughout that single, wild day.
On March 8th, we inhaled the purple smoke produced by the Mascletá on International Women’s Day. This was one of the year’s most intense. And on the very next day we got to enter the holy gunpowder cathedral for the very first time, looking over the shoulder of pyrotechnicians as they set up a Mascletà. Closer to the main Fallas days, la Plantà saw legions of artists take to the streets, to finish the constructions of their Fallas figures.
Shortly after the completion of the figures, they where judged and prizes were handed out to the Fallas commissions during the Entrega. And if you’re still not out of breath, the Ofrenda started shortly, after with its flower offering and the construction of the flower dress for Valencia’s Virgin.
We were obviously starting to run low on power by now, but there was no time to rest! We only had a limited window to admire the Fallas Figures before they would be burned into ashes, so our next days were dedicated to sprinting around Valencia and seeing as many as we could. The Mascletàs on March 17th and 18th blew us away with their orange smoke and brutal force. And talking of brutal force, 2023’s Nit de Foc fireworks will go into Valencian pyrotechnic history for it’s insane setup.
Now we had finally arrived on the last day of Fallas. After taking in two final Macsletàs, we had a couple hours to rest, providing us enough energy to push through the night. The first evening program was the Cabalgata del Fuego — the fire parade, which is always one of our favorite events. Immediately following that was the Cremà — the final act of Fallas. The official municipal figure was of a gigantic, human heart, and watching it burst into flames was bittersweet. We felt equally relieved and sad that Fallas was coming to an end. But there was one more crazy thing we got to witness before we could finally go to bed: the burning of the Joaquin Sorolla bust on Plaza de la Reina, which exploded violently twice while it burned.
This Fallas 2023 was intense, and we loved every moment. It’s hard to imagine another Fallas in the future topping this one… but I suppose we’re open to being proven otherwise.
What other fireworks festival should we cover? Please let us know your favorites!
From our Fireworks Festivals Blog.