After the carnivals, the second most important festivals in Spain are the Falles (torches), a Valencian traditional festival that took place from March 15th to 19th and it is a festivity with a deep-rooted tradition in the city of Valencia and different towns of the Valencian Country. At present, this festivity has turned into a very important tourist attraction.
These are celebrated to praise St. Joseph, and that’s why in Valencia they are known traditionally as the Festes de Sant Josep, patron saint of the carpenters. This festivity is of great national interest, and was declared as a festival of international tourist interest.
Its origins are really simple, a simple burning of garbage obtained from the workshops. But the Valencian people’s creativity has been gathering all the typical features of their culture and history.
The “ninots” (Valencian term for puppets or dolls) are made by cork and they represent the main personages of the year with satirical tones. Then these figures are exhibited in the main squares and later they are burned. By burning them, people think that either the problems or the evil are eliminated; also in this festivity several aspects that define a culture fuse together: fire, music, gunpowder, streets, and the buñuelo (a typical meal that can be bought in street stands distributed all over the city known in English as fritter).
The best fallers that make these statuesque works are rewarded every year.
In addition to the burning of the falles, the gunpowder is also present, along with the mascletá and the despertá where great pyrotechnic spectacles took place.