Sunday, March 30, 2014

Las Fallas 2014: Castillos and Nit de Foc

I mentioned in my Las Fallas History post that castillos (firework displays) are a huge part of the festivals. Like the mascletàs, each night is designed by a different pyrotechnician. Preparations for each castillo start hours before the 1:00am start time. People begin securing the spots with the best views around the Paseo de Alameda as early as 11:00pm.

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The Nit de Foc (Night of Fire in Valencian) sounds like it should be the night where the structures are burned (la crema) but it is actually the eve of San Jose (St. Joseph), the saint of carpenters. This firework show is “bigger and badder” than all the rest. It starts at 1:30am and this year was done by Pirotecnica Caballer. According to the Local Police of Valencia, between 500,000 and 800,000 people turn out for the Nit de Foc. More than 4,000 kg of gunpowder is used. It takes 30 technicians 14 hours to set up everything! We were a little unlucky this year and were downwind, so the smoke covers some of the fireworks in the video below. 

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I love fireworks and in my opinion, Spain has the best firework shows I have ever seen. So for me, this is one of the most exciting things of Las Fallas. This year I was lucky enough to be able to go to all the castillos! The video is a montage of all the castillos from the year.