VALENCIAVALENCIA.COM - Valencia City Guide and Travel / Tourist Information
Fireworks in las Fallas
Valencia is famous for its fireworks. It is a religion here in the normal of times. In the Fallas Festival it is a pyrotechnic heaven / hell.
Keep the fireworks in mind even if you are not a fan. Here they are not just fireworks. Over the centuries the Valencians developed them into a form of art. Valencia is the unrivalled Mozart of fireworks. Valencian pyrotechnic crews get regularly contracted for blowing up big world events, such as Olympics and New Year. The fireworks of the Fallas must not be missed.
There are two types of fireworks during the Fallas Festival.
The firecrackers. The mascleta is not visual, it is just the explosions. But remember: in Valencia it is not just noise. It is an orchestra, there are all those various types of explosions and the Valencians attempt to create some kind of simphony out of them, much like playing an organ. There are various professional pyrotechnic bands who compete to create the best "melody".
The best mascleta is meant to be on the last day of the Fallas Festival - 19th March. But get there early - most people will want to see it.
Place: Plaza del Ayuntamento. Daily: 1st March -19th March. Time: midday. Duraton: 10 min
is the visual fireworks, performed at night. Even someone who is not a
fan and always finds the fireworks boring must see what the Valencians
can do. It's not just a few green balls, few red balls and a bunch of
white rays. It will leave you in awe with an open mouth, the shear complexity,
aesthetics and artistic harmony is incredible. We can't describe it. You
have never seen anything like this. Don't miss it.
Mar - Paseo Alameda, midnight Multimap
16th Mar - Paseo Alameda, 1 am
17th Mar - Paseo Alameda, 1 am
18th Mar - NIT DE FOC (see below)
19th Mar - Plaza Ayuntamento, 1 am - just before the burning of the Falla-Sculpture on the Square
Nit De Foc
(="Night of Fire"). Usually the castillo lasts for 10-15 min. The Nit
de Foc is the highlight of the Fallas fireworks - it is extra special,
extra visual, extra inventive and extra amazing. And it goes on for 25-30
minutes. Don't miss it and do pick a good spot early - once it starts
the whole city will move towards a good spot and huge avenues will become
This is one of the more unfortunate sides of the Fallas Festival. With such Valencian devotion to explosions, the mascleta and castillo are simply not enough. On 1st March the first petard is thrown on the streets. Over the next two weeks it gets progressively more until, finally, on the 15th the city is entirely in a war zone. For the next four days you simply won’t walk 3 seconds without hearing an explosion to the left and to the right.
It is fun to walk in such a mayhem and it adds to the festival atmosphere. Unfortunately, it goes way beyond fun. Many of the petard throwers are benign family people entertaining their kids, or the kids themselves. This is hard enough in itself – it’s not that much fun to jump of fright every ten minutes. But there is also that very malicious breed of adolescent hormonal brain-dead youths who will try to catch you off-guard and throw it under your feet when you are not watching. Those petards can be very strong.
You will also come accross something called borrachos. These are tubes which, once ignited, move around in frantic thrusts, with a long tail of sparks coming out of them. They can look very scary, thrown into the middle of the crowd (and this does happen often - otherwise it wouldn't be funny for those who throw them) but they don't appear to be very harmful in reality.
Try to keep your hands free and look around. If you see a petard landing next to you – it is like in war movies with grenades. You have one second to close your ears or you are deadf. Seriously – take care of your ears, those petards are no Christmas crackers. They are the reason so many locals don’t stay in Valencia for the Fallas and so many others are hearing-impared.
It goes without saying that if you have a serious problem with sudden explosions, such as a risk of heart attack, you should not come to the Fallas.
On the other hand, if you do like this kind of thing, come to Paseo Alameda on Nit de Foc (see above). On completion of the official fireworks, the biggest battle of Las Fallas will break out. The locals call it La Guerra de Los Petardos. Thousands of them will be thrown into the Turia river garden, but the battle will definitely spill out onto the Paseo Alameda itself and the crowds on it. Be advised that Las Fallas in general are not too worried about "safe", and this battle - even less so.
© ValenciaValencia.com 2006