[Translation of Semana Fallera published in valenciablog.com on 13-March-2006.]
Although the Fallas officially start with the Plantà on the 15th March, all the streets are already lit, the music is prepared and many ninots (beautifully painted statues) are waiting. Don't forget the daily appointment at the Plaza del Ayuntamiento at 2pm for the Mascletà (see Pyrotecnics programme) that has been going on since 1st March.
Here is a summary of the programme for the Fallas week.
Starting from 8am on Wednesday 15th March, we have the the Plantà (official inauguration) of the children's Fallas and starting from midnight, the plantà of the main Fallas. At this time also you can enjoy a fireworks display in the Paseo de la Alameda. Every night from the 15th March there will be mobile discotheques or other night entertainment in many of the streets of Valencia, especially in the pedestrian areas of the centre of the city, and these go on for as long as you can stand up.
On the afternoon of 16th March the prizes for the children's Fallas will be awarded in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento and several events have been organized to entertain the kids. At 10pm a Cabalgata Folklórica (Folk Cavalcade) will leave the Calle Játiva, passing by the Plaza del Ayuntamiento. At 1am, another fireworks display will be held as always in the Paseo de la Alameda.
On Friday 17th March, the prizes for the main Fallas in all categories will be awarded at 9am. In the afternoon at 4pm, the Ofrenda de Flores (flower offering) begins at the Virgen de los Desampardos square. This will continue until after midnight and will resume again on the 18th March. Every Fallas commission will bring an offering to the Plaza de la Virgen in turn and by the end, the Virgin will be dressed in a colourful cloak of flowers.
The fireworks display on the night of the 17th March will be at 1am, but on the 18th March, the Nit del Foc, the display will be particularly spectacular and will start at 1:30am. You need to take your place somewhere on the banks of the old river at least an hour before in order to ensure a good view.
Then on Sunday 19th March, the day of San José (Saint Joseph), the Cabalgata del Fuego (Fire Cavalcade) will leave from the Calle Ruzafa passing through Colón and ending at the Porta de la Mar.
Finally the crowning glory! Starting at 10pm the cremà (ritual burning) begins. At 10:30 they burn the prize winning Children's Falla in the top category, and at 11pm they burn the children's Falla of the Plaza del Ayuntamiento. The burning of all the main Fallas starts at 12 midnight; at 12:30 they burn the prize winning main Falla in the top category and at 1am it is the turn of the Falla of the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, which is always preceded by a fireworks display.
If you aren't in Valencia city, many other towns and villages in the País Valencià have similar celebrations and follow a similar timetable.
Valencia burns all its Fallas.
See you next year!
Last year's photos - a personal view.
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