As March rolls around and I enter the third month of my study abroad experience, the city of Valencia prepares for the highly anticipated Fallas festival. What is only supposed to be a 5 day festival turns into a month long affair full of fireworks, light shows, and music.
Every morning I wake up to the sound of firecrackers going off in the streets, and all of the explosions make the city sound like a warzone. Every single day at 2 pm, starting at the beginning of the month, there is an extremely loud firework spectacle that makes your body tremble with every explosion. Though it happens everyday, the streets are still packed every single time the clock strikes 2 pm, as the people of Valencia can’t contain their anticipation for Fallas.
While Fallas is one big festival in the city, each individual neighborhood has their own Fallas, and the neighborhoods compete to see who has the best one. The streets are decorated with lights, signs, and enormous monuments. At the end of the festival, each neighborhood burns these massive monuments, creating huge fires in each neighborhood.
This past weekend I saw a breathtaking firework show at midnight on Saturday, and after the show I wandered around the streets of Valencia, taking in all of the different Fallas decorations. Finally, I ended up at a huge party in the streets that one Valencian neighborhood hosted, which included a live DJ and brought hundreds of people.
Fallas has already given me some of the most fun experiences I’ve had while abroad, and the true Fallas festival has not even begun yet. I can’t wait to see what this next week has to offer.