Saint Joseph's Day, also known as Fallas de San José, honors St Joseph, the Virgin Mary's spouse. It is held annually on March 19. This date is also known as Father's Day (Día del Padre) in many areas in Spain.
Some people attend special church services to honor the life of St Joseph. St Joseph's Day also celebrates fathers. Many people make a special effort to visit their father or father figures. Some people also take fathers or father figures to a restaurant or give Father's Day gifts.
Fallas (or falles) are constructed, displayed and ceremonially burnt in many towns and villages in the autonomous community of Valencia, including the city of Valencia. Fallas are elaborate scenes made of papier-mâché and cardboard. One is chosen by popular vote each year to be preserved in the regional museum. The rest are burnt during fireworks displays in the evening of March 19.
The tradition of constructing and burning fallas arose at some stage in the Middle Ages. Carpenters burnt broken pieces of work and remnants of wood collected during the winter to celebrate the spring equinox. At some point, the fires were moved to St Joseph's Day as he is the patron saint of carpenters.
Ninots and fallas are important symbols of Saint Joseph's Day in Valencia. Ninots are figures made of papier-mâché and cardboard. They are carefully constructed and usually life-sized or larger. A group of ninots based on a particular theme is assembled into a falla. A falla is a collection of ninots to make a scene depicting a story or situation. It is usually filled with firecrackers and fireworks.