The Fallas begin tomorrow and we want you to live them as an authentic fallero, not as a GUIRI (foreign person who is visiting the city and loves it but doesn’t know exactly what is going on). That’s why we want to share with you some vocabulary in order to help you enjoy these days in the best way.
Read and print it if it’s necessary. There are in alfabet order, easier for you to search them. If you learn all these words, when people ask you about your Fallas’ experience you will answer “mel de romer!” (Rosemary honey).
CASAL: Is the place where the falleros meet, eat, dance, sleep, laugh and basically live during the Fallas days. It tends to be close to the monuments (Fallas). Try to pop your head inside and say “ey, peró açí a quina hora donen de sopar?” (hey, what time do you serve dinner here?). Maybe you are lucky!
CREMÀ: This is the saddest moment of the Fallas because it’s when we burn the monuments. Falleras also tend to cry because the end of this glorious week has arrived. It’s a goodbye until the next year. Symbolically, in the Cremà we are burning the bad things of the year, so we have to be happy, sing the Valelencian hymn, hug our friends, and tell them: “xe, brutal, finsl’any que ve!“ (wow, awesome, until next year)
DESPERTÀ: Don’t miss the opportunity of enjoying one. It is an act for only the bravest (or for those whose night has not finished yet) falleros. It starts usually at 7/8AM and lasts no more than twenty minutes. The thing is to wake up the entire neighborhood with super petardos and masclets. The louder the better!!! People who could not sleep that night will appreciate it…for sure! “Collons! Quina petardà!“ (Nuts! What an explosión!).
FALLA: Fallas are not only the feasts. A falla is the monument you see on the street. They are big (or small if we talk about the “falla infantil”) structures made, originally, of wood and paperboard by the artista fallero. That is why they burn so easily! They can cost until 900.000€. Yeah, in Valencia we burn the money!!
A Falla (or Comisión) is also a community of falleros which builds a monument in a specific part of the city.
FALLERA/O: It’s everyone who belongs to a Comisión. You don’t need to be from Valencia to be a Fallera/o. The Fallera Major is the most important person in the Falla, you have to tell her rebonica and “visca la fallera major!“ (hurray the big fallera). The Presidente is something like the boss of the Falla, but it’s not necessary to flatter him.
L’OFRENA: During March 17th and 18th, all the falleros pass by the “Plaza de la Virgen”, and the falleras offer a bouquet of flowers to La Mare de Deu dels Desamparts (la Xeperudeta), the Virgin Mary. It is the most cultural part of these festivities and usually, a lot of falleros, especially women, cry during this moment because it’s very exciting for them. At this moment you have to say “Visca la Verge dels Desamparats!“ (Hurrary the virging of the desesperate).
MASCLETÀ: From March 1st to 19th. Every day, at 2PM at La Plaza del Ayuntamiento. It’s a firecrackers show that you will love for sure. Specially the smell of the powder and the final earthquake tremor. Things to say: “mare meua!“ (literally means “my mother” but it’s the equivalent to “my god”), “tírali!” (throw it) and “quina passada tu!“ (that’s awesome dude) .
NINOT: The Falla as monument is composed of ninots. They are the “puppets” and figures that you can see. They have got a lot of shapes and colors and are used to depict satirical scenes and current events. Don’t try to steal one or the segurata (the guardian) or fallero of that falla will try to kill you.
NIT DEL FOC: On March 18th at 1.30AM. It’s a fireworks show that lasts for one hour. A lot of people meet at the Valencia’s riverside and enjoy the unforgettable night. “Quina meravella, xe!“ (What a wonder!).
PAELLETA: Paella is the typical dish in Valencia. But when you cook it with your friends, on the street, with some beers (cervecetes) and hearty laughs, it is called paelleta. Usually, the taste is not the same of the paella you cook during the rest of the year, when sober and at home. But it doesn’t matter, it’s one of the best moments in Fallas. “Qué bona, la paella està de categoria!“ (So good, the paella tastes incredible).
PETARDOS, MASCLETS, BORRACHOS: Firecrackers, but not toys. Seriously, if you buy some, light it always in a safe place, for your own good and everybody else’s. If you see someone doing stupidities with petardos you have to tell him “xe, ja està be, borinot, animal de sèquia!“(dude, it’s over, bumblebee, drought animal). Fallas is all about everyone enjoying, so we must be responsible.
PLANTÀ: It’s the act of building the Falla on the street. The artista fallero and his team are helped by the falleros of the comisión to finish the details and add the figures that will add life to the monument. This takes place during the night of March 15th.
SAN JOSÉ: St. Joseph is the city’s patron saint. We burn the fallas in his honor because he was a carpenter, like the first artistas falleros who started creating fallas, centuries back. We celebrate it on March 19th, our Fathers Day. You should learn this too: “Visca Sant Josep!“ (Hurray Saint Josep!).
VERBENA: The best part of the night. You can enjoy one practically on every street. A super band or a DJ plays cool and loud music on the street, where you’ll always find lots of people having fun. It’s a great opportunity to practice all the new words we have taught you and prove you’re completely integrated in the Valencian customs. Always, after the last song, everybody shouts and repeats “una cançoneta I mon anem, eh!” (one more song and we’re off).
XOCOLATÀ: Enjoy having some hot chocolate with bunyols or churros with your friends. Be careful with the stall you buy them from. Don’t guide yourself by the looks, the aroma is also very important. If you don’t choose well, maybe you will need a W.C. close by! If you eat a lot: “xe, quina farterà!“ (what a pain!)
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