La Nit del Foc, which translates as the very lively sounding ‘Night of Fire’ is one of the main events of the infamous Fallas festival that takes place every year in Valencia. The festivities celebrate the arrival of spring and pay tribute to the days when carpenters and woodsmen would welcome the new season by clearing their workshops of material remnants and setting them alight in a communal bonfire in the local square.
The modern-day celebrations are an extremely raucous and excitable affair characterized by live music performances and colourful parades with local people dressed in traditional intricate costume dancing their way down streets plastered in colourful decorations. The huge sculptures – “the fallas” – are at the centre of the parade. Made out of cardboard, wood or papier-mâché, these are designed to represent the most talked-about celebrities, politicians and public figures of the previous year with more than a hint of satire thrown into the mix.
La Nit del Foc is one of the most important nights of the Fallas and takes place on the final day of celebrations before Saint Joseph’s Day – a national public holiday which is also recognised as Father’s Day in the region of Valencia and many other parts of Spain.
The fireworks displays that take place during the fortnight-long Fallas all culminate in this spectacular night. As the largest fireworks display of the year, the dazzling and technically brilliant Nit del Foc display will take in more than four thousand kilos of pyrotechnics with crowd numbers expected to reach up to 800,000.
The magical and colourful extravaganza will take place on March 18 in the Paseo de la Alameda, near Valencia’s Bridge of Flowers, itself a symbolic feature of the city.