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Las Fallas Festival 2009
Las Fallas Festival – Valencia (March)
Valencia lights up from the 15th to the 19th March when Las Fallas Festival takes place. A free annual event that attracts around 2 million people every year the festival has bonfires lit with many explosions and parades to honor Saint Joseph, the patron saint of carpentry.
Months are spent preparing the many paper mache statues that are characterisations of famous bullfighters, film stars or polititians... in fact, anyone can find themselves at risk of being made into a 15 foot statue to be burnt at the stake! There is also plenty of live music and street performances throughout the week.
The very first fires are lit on the night of the 15th but it is on the final night on the 19th when the biggest fire of them all comes alive. The statues that have lovingly been laboured over are burnt at the stake into the night with fireworks bursting out of them. Neighbourhoods compete against eachother for the best burning display and there are also prizes for the loudest burning statue! And just in case there are any mishaps, the cities fire department is on standby!
The heat and loud noise form the bonfires have been the cause for a few people being carted off to the hospital so should you make it along to this festival be sure to wear earplugs! The best viewing of the bonfires is from one of the many hotel balconies that surround the squares, however you will need to book well in advance as these rooms sell quick.
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