Fallas (in Spanish), or Falles (Catalan/Valencian), started in the Middle Ages, when artisans put out their broken artefacts and pieces of wood that they had sorted during the winter and burned to celebrate the Spring Equinox.
Today in Valencia, the Falles celebrates Saint Joseph's Day, and at about midnight the city will go up in flames – or so it will seem as about 300 massive fires are lit. The first written records of this now hugely popular festival date from the mid-18th century and the early 19th, though it's thought that the Falles started in the Middle Ages.
A group called the Casal Faller meets, one in each neighbourhood of the city, and works all year long holding fundraising parties and dinners, usually featuring the famous regional seafood dish, paella. Formerly, much time would also be spent at the Casal Faller preparing the ninot (Valencian for puppet or doll) for the Falles ...
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