From 15 to 19 March, the streets of Benicarló are invaded by the sound of fireworks, smoke from barbecues in the streets and the man-made figures of the ‘Fallas’ from the 13 different associations in the town. The origin of this festival dates back to an old carpenters’ tradition when they burned old junk on the eve of their patron saint’s day. Over the years this has evolved and has now adopted a sense of irony and criticism.
In 1974 the first Benicarló ‘Falla’ «El despertar» was erected, kick-starting the rest of the ‘Fallas’ which have evolved in the town to this day. Benicarló Fallas have been designated a Festival of Regional Tourist Interest.
In 2016, UNESCO declared the ‘Fallas’ an “Intangible Heritage of Humanity”, which is worldide recognition for a festival which grows year by year and spreads like gunpowder.
Events featured during ‘Fallas’ which should not be missed are: “la cridà”, “la cabalgata del ninot”, “la mascletà” and “la nit de la cremà”.
- La Crida: this could be compared to the announcement of other festivals. It is when the ‘Falleras mayores’ – adult Queens of the Falla festival – pronounce the beginning of the Festival from the Town-Hall balcony.
- Cavalcada del Ninot: in this parade, the ‘Fallas’ associations reveal their social-political theme related to the current topic.
- La mascletà: the name given to a display of firecrackers. These fireworks produce sounds similar to a concert with rhythms and changes in intensity. Finally, everything explodes in an impressive crescendo for between 5-7 minutes, reaching more than 120 decibels. “Mascletàs” normally take place in Plaza de la Constitució at 14.00h.
- La Nit de la Crema: the ‘Fallas’ festival ends with burning the ‘Fallas’ figures, where fire, as a symbol of purity consumes all of the criticisms displayed at these ‘Fallas’.