There are hundreds of festivals to celebrate in Spain, but one of the largest is Las Fallas in Valencia, Spain.
Las Fallas stands for Festival of Fire and is held every March. The celebration is held in commemoration of Saint Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters, and to the coming of the spring solstice. Each community in Valencia comes together and creates their own wooden structures representing different characters or images. Once the sun sets, the city lights up as the structures are set on fire and the celebration continues.
As you can imagine, if you find yourself studying abroad in Valencia in the spring you’ll have a variety of opportunities to attend and participate in Las Fallas.
Each year La Universidad Politècnica de València (UPV), the host university for USAC students, looks for 10 female international exchange students to represent their country in the festival serving as a fallera. La Fallera is the main character in the festival. Each Falla (wooden monument) has its own set of falleras and then one is nominated as the queen fallera. There are more than 700 fallas in the festival each year so you can imagine how many falleras participate!
Being a fallera is no small feat, but a once in a lifetime opportunity. You attend events, attend receptions including one with the mayor, attend the fireworks show, walk in the festival, and more.
This spring Alexa Regnier, from the College of William and Mary, volunteered to be a Fallera for UPV and represent the United States.
Alexa jumped in feet first and proudly represented her home country. She participated in a variety of events and was able to experience a truly once in a lifetime opportunity during her study abroad. Here are more photos of Alexa and the Fallas festival.
If you’re ready to check out Las Fallas for yourself, learn more about studying abroad in Valencia, Spain on our website.