Las Fallas is celebrated each year beginning the first Sunday of March to commemorate St. Joseph's Day, the Patron Saint of Carpenters. The St. Joseph bonfires began sometime in the 18th century and gradually developed into one of Spain's largest fiestas.
To honor the carpenters, enormously figures are constructed from wood and paper mâché and then burned on the last day of the fiesta. It has evolved into a 5-day, multifaceted celebration of fire. Valencia swells to an estimated three million flame-loving revelers during Las Fallas. Las Fallas literally means "the fires" in Valencian.
The ninots remain in place until March 19th, the day known as "La Crema." Starting in the early evening, young men with axes chop holes in the statues and stuff them with fireworks. The crowds start to chant, the streetlights are turned off, and all of the ninots are set on fire at exactly the stroke of midnight.
Spontaneous fireworks displays occur everywhere during the days leading up to "La Crema", but another highlight is the daily mascletá, which occurs in the Plaza Anyuntamiento at exactly 2pm. When the huge pile of firecrackers is ignited, the ground literally shakes for the next ten minutes.