The highlight of the year in Valencia is a street party on steroids

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The Falles Festival

Satire and bonfires

The origin of Valencia's (and Spain's) most iconic celebration aren't known for sure - historical documentation goes back to the 18th century but is thought to reach back to the Middle Ages, when the carpenters' guild would burn old furniture in front of their workshops on the night of the feast day of their patron St. Joseph. The Falles (Fallas in Spanish) became a tradition, spread to the rest of the citizenry, and took on a satyrical tone, poking fun at the politics, entertainments, and society of the day. Regardless, for generations it's been an annual explosion of joy, colour, and fire that locals look forward to all year and visitors flock to town to experience. The key date is March 19, when in an event called the Cremà, the huge figures of papier-mâché, wax and wood from which the festival takes its name are immolated in enormous bonfires.

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