Las Fallas Fiesta in Gandia!
“Las Fallas” is one of the biggest fiestas of the year in the Valencia region – it’s the one that everyone has seen pictures about, where the different districts of each town build huge wood and papier-mâché effigies about local events and then they all get burnt to the ground on the night of March 19th – St. Joseph’s day.
The fiesta is a huge attraction for tourists, both Spanish and foreign, and we were delighted to welcome Sandy and her husband David back to us for a second year to enjoy the preparations and festivities. They chose to stay in our self-catering apartment again as they found last year that it suited them perfectly. They combined their accommodation there with taking breakfast and dinner in the dining terrace with the other guests, so had the advantages of both. As far as Valencian residents are concerned, Fallas marks the end of the old season – essentially winter – and the beginning of the spring and all things new. It always culminates on the same date, March 19th, and so also marks the beginning of the build-up to the most important time of year of all for the Spanish – Easter.
Gandia always enters into the spirit of all the fiestas with inexhaustible enthusiasm, so is a great place to visit for both the foreign tourist and Spanish holidaymaker alike. All the colour and vibrancy of every Valencian fiesta is celebrated to the full in the town but because it is a town of 80,000 inhabitants, it is possible to enjoy all that the fiestas have to offer but without having to endure the huge crowds that can be sometimes overwhelming in the large cities. This is not to say that Gandia, being smaller, celebrates these cultural delights with any less enthusiasm – far from it. Processions, fireworks, street events are all to be found in Gandia according to the fiesta concerned and spectators can feel that they are taking part in a cultural event of history and tradition on a manageable scale.
Sandy and David have been coming to the Valencia province for several years to enjoy the tradition of the Fallas festivities and have become very knowledgeable about everything that is involved, from the almost year-long build-up in each local district to the selection of the Fallas queens and princesses in their beautiful and elaborate costumes. They had a wonderful time with us again this year, and to their delight have realised that Easter in 2016 is early in the calendar, and so closer than ever to the Fallas fiesta. Their plan is therefore to come to us again, but much closer to March 19th this time – but then to stay on after that event and take in the Easter processions and celebrations as well. Two fiestas for the price of one, you could say!
It is always a pleasure when guests return to us time and again, and we are looking forward very much to Sandy and David celebrating not one but two of Gandia’s most important events in the fiesta calendar in 2016. The Spanish certainly know how to have a party and Gandia manages to combine all the best elements of Spanish vibrancy and joie de vivre in a way that makes the visitor feel part of a great tradition that dates back often hundreds of years.