For lovers of the Carnival spirit, the Las Fallas Festival offers a heady mix of sights, sound and gastronomical pleasure aplenty. Valencia is one of Spain’s autonomous political regions. It is very proud of its cultural heritage.

The Festival spans twenty days in March not counting the preliminary festivities in February. The celebration is held in the commemoration of Saint Joseph. The name of the festival refers to the celebrations and the burning of monuments during the celebration.

The main attraction of the Festival is the total abandon with which the people of the Fallas (communities) celebrate the event. Alcoholic drinks are enjoyed liberally. Traditional food items are prepared on the streets and served fresh. Bunyoles, a kind of donuts, baked fresh in abundance and eaten with hot chocolate.

Women and children dress up elaborately for the festive month and give a fairyland look to the city. Each Falla elects its Lady Mayor and Girl Mayor. They assemble and then vote to elect the Queen and Princess for the Festival.

There is a grand event of decorating the Virgin with Flowers. A beautiful statue of the Virgin is erected at the “Square of the Virgin (Plaza de Virgin)” and entire communities converge at the Plaza to deck the Virgin with the choicest of flowers.

The city is bathed in the heady smell of all the fragrances. Fireworks of a wide variety are set off liberally. It is a real mystery to some why the Valencians have such a deep attachment to the deafening noises, despite many citizens losing their hearing faculty!

It is my guess that the rich harvests that follow the Festival must have convinced the inhabitants that there is some real link (The big bangs split atmospheric air and release Nitrogen which later fertilizes the soil.)

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