Every month of March in Valencia takes place one of the most important traditions in Spain: the Fallas. Falla comes from the Latin word for torch, this can give you a clue of what this fiesta is about… fire!
Their origin is uncertain but presumably the Fallas have been taking place in the city of Valencia since the 18th century. The origin of this tradition could be in the guild of carpenters burning pieces of wood and other useless things in order to clean their workshops for the spring. The celebration coincided with the day of their patron saint St. Joseph the 19th of March.
One of the things the carpenters burned were planks of wood called parots. They used them to hold candles in winter and they no longer needed them in the long days of spring. With time they started to dress up this parots as persons and burn them in the bonfires. This lead to more elaborated puppets and so the Fallas where born.
Through the years the Fallas have become more and more popular attracting more and more tourists each year. The fallas possess their own vocabulary, here are five words to fully understand what goes on in Valencia in March…