It comes from the old carpenter’s tradition who, when celebrating the arrival of spring, used to burn pieces of wood that were used to prop up their lights during the winter. To this bonfire they gradually started to add old belongings and rags, which gave the wooden structure a human-looking aspect, until they became the 'ninots', the cardboard figures and dolls we know today. The Valencian sense of humour soon gave the irony to this figures, built to be burned on 19 March.
The most famous and spectacular Fallas are those of city of Valencia, but they are also celebrated in almost a hundred towns of Valencia Region.
The essential of the Fallas goes from March 15th to 19th, but the celebrations around them start on March 1st, with the so-called `Mascletá', firecracker barrages.
Mascletàs: Firecracker barrages. From 1 to 19 March at 14:00h. daily in Plaza del Ayuntamiento (Townhall Square).
Flower offering: 1 and 18 March. Plaza de la Virgen.
Plantà: 15th of March. It is the moment in which a 'falla' or bonfire, that is to say the set of figures made in cardboard by the fallero artists, is finished for its exhibition in the place where four days later it will be destroyed by the fire.
Fallera week: From 15 to 19 March. The passion for this celebration has filled this week with thousands of things to do: traditional (and not so traditional) music, tonnes of gunpowder, religious acts, paellas in the street…
Firework displays: From 15 to 18 March. Nightly in the Turia Gardens (Alameda).
The 'Cremà': That is, the burning of the 'fallas' with their respective 'ninots'.19 March. Childrens’ Fallas: 22:00h. Main Fallas: 00:00h.
The Fallas are an impressive sensory and cultural spectacle which not in vain has been listed by UNESCO as an Intangible Heritage of Humanity. However, you have to be sure that gunpowder, fire and thunderous noise don't scare you (or, at lest, they don't scare you too much).