March 15th is the beginning of the main days of Fallas, celebrated with the Nit de L’Alba de las Fallas at midnight. Also on this day, the Fallas commissions retrieve the figure which had featured in the Ninot Exhibition, since the beginning of February. They’ll need it, to finish their Fallas figures, which are currently in the final phase of building, and just waiting on this final piece. Shortly after that, the judges do their rounds and take notes on all of the figures.
On the very same night the winners of the Falla Infantil are announced (for Fallas 2023 the winning figure was that of Convento de Jerusalén). The next day, the main Falla figures are finalized, and the winners announced on the evening of March 16th. And then it’s time for La Entrega de Premios — the delivery of prizes.
To be honest, the Fallas prize system is still a mystery to us; there are so many different categories and sub-prizes from all kinds of different entities, and it’s a bit overwhelming. But what we do know is that the prizes (in forms of flags) are picked up for the Falla Infantil on the evening of March 16th, and for the big figures on the morning of the 17th. The falleras and falleros are dressed up in traditional outfits, marching from their casal to the Plaza del Ayuntamiento to pick up their prize flag. And of course, they’re accompanied by a marching band.
Picking up the prizes is the reward for the hard work each Casal has put into their figures over the past year. And if they do better than their neighboring Fallas commissions, they making sure to take a detour, to show off their flags. And it seems like the music of the marching band is played a bit louder. The Entrega de Premios ends right before the Mascleta on March 17th. But there is no rest for the Falleros and Falleras – they get to have a quick lunch because they need to get ready for the next parade, the Ofrenda, which starts at 3:30pm.