Festivals in Valencia
Find out about the festivals, religious celebrations and annual events that take place in the region, including Valencia's famous tomato fight, La Tomatina...
Many of the festivals and events that take place in Valencia have a religious meaning. These celebrations always include entertainment and shows for the public.
This is an introduction to the most significant fiestas in the region.
Las Fallas de San José
Las Fallas de San José is held in the week of 19 March, when papier mâché figures (ninots) are placed in the streets and squares of Valencia to celebrate of the arrival of spring. On the last day, all but one of the figures are burnt in public bonfires. Before the festival, the public can see the figures on display at the Fallero Museum (Museo Fallero) in Plaza Monteolivete 3 and choose which one to save from burning. During the week there are parades, fireworks, dances and food events.
- Museo Fallero
At: Plaza Monteolivete 4, 46006 Valencia
Tel: 963 525 478 extension 4625
Open: Tuesday to Saturday 10:00-14:00 and 16:30-20:30, Sundays and festivals 10:00-15:00
La Semana Santa (Holy Week)
A week-long religious festival which starts on Palm Sunday and ends on Easter Day. There are costumed parades throughout the week, with a musical parade through Valencia's main streets on Easter Sunday.
El Corpus is held in June and dates back to 1355, when Bishop Hugo de Fenolet issued a public invitation to celebrate. Celebrations start with a Mass, followed by a horse ride (cabalcada del convit) and by the dwarves' and giants' dance (Els Nanos i Gegants) at midday. Other types of dances are also performed: Els Cavallets, Els Pastorets, La Magrana and, the most original of all, la danza de la Moma y los Momos, which symbolises the conflict between virtue (Moma) and the seven deadly sins (Momos). This is followed by several re-enactments from the Old and New Testament and a parade to the Plaza de la Virgen.
Other Events and Festivals in Valencia
La Tomatina (the Valencia Tomato Fight)
The Valencia Tomato Fight is held on the last Wednesday of August, when for a few crazy hours the residents and many visitors to the small town of Buñol indulge in a mass fight, where tomatoes are hurled at each other. Around 40,000 people attend the spectacle each year.
- La Tomatina explained by Wikipedia: Click here
Feria de Julio
This event takes place in July, when Valencia celebrates the arrival of thousands of tourists with nightly entertainment, including concerts and fireworks displays. There is a trade fair with food and general goods for adults and children on sale. During the month there are musical contests in the Palau de la Música, and the Battle of Flowers (batalla de las flores), in which girls drive around the Alameda in carriages throwing flowers and petals at the crowd.
An international event celebrating innovation, technology and space exploration. It takes place in Valencia every summer.
The Valencian Community's festival is held on 9 October. On this day, Valencia celebrates the liberation from Moorish rule by Jaime I el Conquistador in 1238. The celebrations include lowering the Valencian flag (Senyera) from the Town Hall's main balcony to the sound of the Valencian anthem; volleys of gunfire; a parade to the Cathedral with the flag, continuing to the king's statue in the Plaza de Parterre, where flowers are laid on the feet of the monument. Afterwards participants return to the Town Hall, where the flag is again placed on the main balcony. In the evening, a fireworks festival takes place in the Paseo de la Alameda. On this day, young men often give their girlfriends a traditional gift called Macaorà, a silk handkerchief closed with knots to form a sort of bag filled with sweets such as nougat and marzipan.
La Cabalgata y La Noche de Reyes
During the night of 5 January, Valencia's streets are filled with decorations to welcome the new year and people look for gifts to celebrate the coming of the Magis on the following day. In the evening, the Kings' Ride (Cabalgata de los Reyes) has the three Magis arrive on their horses, sit on a stage and receive all the children, who give them letters, tell them what gifts they would like to receive and assure them of their good behaviour during the year. Then dozens of decorated carriages with costumed passengers drive around the city. Once the ride is finished, the Magis visit several areas of Valencia to give gifts to the children.
Mostra del Cine del Mediterraneo
Film festival held annually in October. It is a celebration of the diversity of cultures in the Mediterranean. There are also film-related activities for visitors.