There are many elements that make Valencia special but one of the most incomparable components is Las Fallas. Before moving here, I had never experienced something so unique and remarkable as this two-and-a-half-week-long extravaganza. It started out as a old tradition where carpenters burned their wooden parots and unnecessary scraps to welcome the spring. Now, Las Fallas is a celebration and instead of burning parots, every Valencian neighborhood crafts a ninot, a figure which usually satirizes or criticizes political or historical events. On the last day of the festival, La Cremà, all except one pardoned ninot are set ablaze while everyone cheers and celebrates.
One important component to Las Fallas are the Mascletàs, a spectacular whirlwind of fireworks, gunpowder, and total astonishment. Every day from the first of March to the end of Las Fallas there is a firecracker show, or Mascletà, in Plaza Ayuntamiento at 2pm. On Saturdays, at exactly 00:00 there is an eruption of dazzling fireworks to carry out the Mascletà Nocturnas. Last year, I tried to attend as many Mascletàs as I could because I felt like each one was different and significant. However, no matter how many I saw, I always left with the same giddy and excited feeling in the pit of my stomach.
The sensation you feel after experiencing a Mascletà is almost impossible to describe to someone. Although it only lasts about six minutes, the immense thundering cloud of fireworks seems endless. It feels like there’s an infinite cascade of sparkling blasts in the sky and the applause roaring from the crowd surrounding you is contagious. The energy in the air feels electric and nearly vibrates off one awe-struck viewer to the next. After seeing my first Mascletà, I fell in love with the vivacious and hopeful impression it left. In my opinion, I think that the Mascletàs of Las Fallas definitely go down as a once in a lifetime phenomenon.
Mascletàs are just one of the many events going on in the city during Las Fallas. Lights, music, fire, traditional dances, monuments, and many fun activities take place throughout Valencia from March 15th to 19th, and all CEU students are invited to experience them with Campus Life!