We find the first information about the Fallas in the mid XVIII Century, but it is believe that it started with a pagan tradition. The purifying fire is present in many other festivities like San Juan or San Miguel; San José for the Fallas, because it is said that it was the carpenters (Saint Joseph's profession) the first ones to burn the wood waste from their workshops to celebrate.
Fallas in Benidorm
The main Valencia festivity is celebrated during the previous days to San José day in Benidorm and in the rest of the Valencian Community. This festival has been present in Benidorm for about 30 years; it was imported by Valencian people that created the first Fallas commission. Ever since then, Benidorm Fallas have been adapted, reinvented and bettered, so their characteristic fire, parody and smell of gunpowder transform them in one of the main festivals in the city.
During these days, this city is full with people who want enjoy the climate and the "Fallas" atmosphere. Hotels in Benidorm, restaurants, night clubs, all are ready to celebrate the "Fallas" and to host tourists that want to enjoy a fantastic break in Benidorm.
There are 3 different Fallas commissions in Benidorm at the moment: Centro, Rincon and Els Tolls. Every one of them is in charge of placing one Falla. The 'plantà' is how these commissions show their Falla monument.
These monuments are made with wood and papier mâché representing day-to-day scenes from the current situations in a satiric and funny way. The Falla is not only a statue or a puppet; it is a special way of seeing the world.
Another important moment in the Fallas festivals is the 'Mascletà'. The Valencian people have a big connection with the gunpowder, and there is no festival without it. Every day at the same time for the 'Mascletà', the artisan of gunpowder prepares a pyrotechnic show with different kind of petards. It is a good moment to feel the vibration, see a beginning and finale on the air and to smell the gunpowder surrounding you.
During the Fallas days there are some 'Pasacalles' (parades) in the city streets, where the residents and the visitors can enjoy this colourful festival, listen to the music of the brass bands and see the 'Fallera Mayor' and the infant one, these girls dressed in the regional traditional costume are the protagonists of the Fallas.
The floral tribute to the 'Virgen del Sufragio' is very important in the Benidorm Fallas. Using the flowers that the Fallas people, the residents and the visitors offer to this virgin they will decorate the door front and the sides of the Saint Jaume church, dressing it with loads of colours for all the Fallas festivals.
'La Cremà', the end of the Fallas
The beauty of the Fallas monuments, apart from their satiric scenes, the materials and the well done work, lies on its expiry date. They are created to be burnt and reduced to ashes on the festival final day, the 19th of March, the 'Cremà' day. On that day, all the Fallas get burnt creating an amazing sight and the work for the next year starts again for the Fallas Commissions. In Benidorm, like in many other places, the adult and infant Fallas get burnt at a different time so people can enjoy all the 'cremàs' if they want to.