Beginning at midnight on March 19th, the festival of Fallas reaches its fiery, conclusive end with the Cremà, when all of the giant monuments go up in flames. It’s a darkly beautiful, and emotionally-charged event, which leaves the city in a state of semi-shock.
“Foc” is Valencian for “Fire,” but you’ll be forgiven for screaming out a similar-sounding English word while watching either the Cabalgata de Foc (Parade of Fire), or the Nit de Foc (Night of Fire). Because these events are foc-ing insane.
In December 2016, the Fallas Festival of Valencia was included in UNESCO’s list of intangible cultural heritage. To celebrate, we’ve created a bunch of GIFs which you’re free to use (if you do, please link back to this article). You can also find them on the GIF-search from both Facebook and Twitter GIF; just search for “Mascleta” and “Fallas Valencia”.
Who doesn’t love fireworks? The color, the sound, the visual spectacle? Of course, we can all agree that they’re wonderful. But, who still loves fireworks minus the color and the visual spectacle, leaving only the sound? Hmmm, not many of you have kept your hands up… just a bunch of maniacs wearing blue and white handkerchiefs. Let me guess: you’re the Valencians.
The last Sunday of February is a busy day in Valencia. It starts early with the despertà, which awakens the city with a bang. There are events throughout the day, including pilota matches, marching bands, and a mascletà in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento. But Fallas doesn’t officially begin until the evening, with the celebration of the Cridà.
It’s the last Sunday of February. You’ve purposefully forgotten to set your alarm clock, hoping to luxuriate a few extra minutes in the deep sleep of early morning. As you nestle in your comforter, drowsy as can be, Valencia looks upon your resting figure with a smile. But it’s not a smile of maternal tenderness… in fact, it’s more of a smirk. And then the explosions start.