Fiestas in Valencia

Fallas - 19 March

Huge papier-mâche monuments (fallas - below) are erected in the crossroads and squares of Valencia around the 15th of March and ceremonially set alight on the night of the 19th, St Joseph's Day.

Costing thousands of Euros each, the fallas depict satirical scenes and can take up to a year to build. During the fiesta, the city echoes to the sound of fire crackers.

More about the wonderful fallas fiesta here

Moors and Christians - 22 March - 4 April - Alcoi, Alicante

Two costumed armies march into the city, where they perform ceremonies and fight mock battles in commemoration of the Reconquest.

Bou en la Mar - early July - Denia, Alicante

People dodge bulls on the quay until one or the other falls into the sea.

Ministri d'Elx - 14 - 15 August - Elx, Alicante

This choral play, in the Iglesia de Santa Maria, has spectacular special effects.

La Tomatina - last Wednesday of August - Bunol, Valencia

The high point of the annual fiesta in Bunol is a sticky food fight, which attracts thousands of visitors dressed in their worst clothes. Lorry loads of ripe tomatoes are provided by the town council for participants to hurl at each other. No one in range of the combatants is spared: foreigners and photographers are prized targets. The battle originated in 1944. Some say it began with a fight between friends. Others say irreverent locals pelted civil dignitaries with tomatoes during a procession. Increasing national and international press coverage means that more people attend, and more tomatoes are thrown every year.