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Fallas de Valencia 2012


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Not strictly theatrical pyro, but I know there are a few fellow pyrotechnophiles hanging around on here who may appreciate this ...


For those who aren't familiar with the Fallas festival which takes place every March in Valencia, each day during the festival one of the local fireworks companies (of which there are many!) perform a mascleta (daytime fireworks, centred around the noise and rhythm of the pyro rather than the visual aspect) in the city square. Over the 19 days of the festival, they get progressively bigger and louder - experiencing one 'in the flesh' is like nothing you've ever heard or felt before. The video below doesn't really do it full justice - although the rhythmical section at about 1m30 and all hell breaking loose at about 5m30 are an excellent illustration of how it really should be done!





Edit : Mods, isn't the 'media' tag supposed to be able to embed videos into posts? Or is that feature disabled on the BR?

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I have lived in Spain for 8 years and an vouch for the fact that the Spanish like their fireworks.

It is normal that for any local fiesta, and they happen several times a year, small, noisy rockets are let off all through the day.

The ignition system is interesting.

A, usually, old cigar smoking man holds a rocket in his bare hand, lights it with his cigar and lets go.

This happens in the middle of towns where there are people walking past.

No health and safety issues in the small towns and villages.




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They certainly seem to have a FAR more relaxed attitude towards H&S than we do.


A constant presence in Valencia during Fallas is the noise of small fireworks (borrachos, tracas and truenos) being let off in the streets by all and sundry. It begins around breakfast time (after you've been woken up by the 'desperta' - noisy fireworks and a brass band charged with the sole mission of making sure everyone's awake!) and all through the day it's a continuous background noise, to the point that after a while you sort of tune it out, and become accustomed to occasionally having to jump out of the way when someone lobs a particularly big one in your direction. The members of the various divisions of the local police force completely ignore all the pyro going off around them in the streets, and fathers take great delight in showing their young kids (some of them VERY young) how to get the best effect from the smaller bangers (putting them into empty Coke cans seemed quite popular!). Over four days in the city, with all this going on (as well as various smaller mascletas being fired in the streets, with the public only a few yards away and separated only by a line of flimsy wire fencing) I didn't see one single pyro-related injury. Someone who's been going to Fallas for trhe last few years has said that the only pyro-related injury he's ever seen there was a toddler in a pushchair getting a clip round the ear from his mother because he held on to the banger for a little bit too long after she'd lit it!


Now imagine the same thing happening in the British Isles - say, for example, I was to light a couple of small bangers while walking along the street during Carnival in Notting Hill and lob them about. I dare say I'd find myself arrested pretty swiftly, and probably charged with some sort of terrorism offence, not to mention the fact that anyone within a few metres of me probably hot-footing it straight to some smarmy 'personal injury' lawyer and getting them to sue me for causing undue stress by making something go 'bang' near to where they were standing. Sometimes this country really depresses me.

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