We have made it to the last day of Fallas and our heads are spinning. The sights, the sounds, and the smells of the festival have all come together in a whirlwind of sensory overload. Last night, Valencia threw 1,200 kilos (1.3 tons) of pyrotechnic explosives into the sky at 1:30 AM for La Gran Nit del Foc, which means “the Grand Night of Fire” in Valenciano. We stood on the roof of our building for the most spectacular fireworks show of the entire festival. In fact, Nit del Foc is the biggest firework display of the year in Valencia, which is significant considering that Valencians turn fireworks on and off like running water.
We hit our pillows with the roar of fireworks still lingering in our ears and woke up this morning to fresh explosions ringing across the brilliant blue sky. It’s like the late night explosives team tagged the morning explosives team, who took over the baton of shaking the city.
Despite the constant chatter of firecrackers, the city is much more civilized during the day. The crowds are diminished, making it easier to meander around the streets. Today is our last chance to take in the sights of the Fallas before they burn later this evening. We have seen a lot in the last three days. Without really having a plan, we’ve come across interesting sights all over the city. Like a parade of incredibly cute little girls in traditional Valencia dress.
Marching bands appear for no apparent reason or you might run into an impromptu concert or dance performance.
When the sun goes down, Valencia transforms into a magical city of lights. The streets are lit in magnificent fashion to compete in an illumination competition.
The most spectacularly lit streets are in Rusafa on Calle Sueca and Calle Cuba. The initial illuminations take place with dramatic light and music shows unlike anything I’ve ever seen.
For 2017, Calle Cuba-Literato Azorin has been awarded first prize for the second consecutive year. The sound and light show has been repeated every evening for everyone to have a chance to view the winner. Like many of the incredible things we’ve seen during Fallas, we happened upon the street by accident. We were walking along looking at the food trucks when the flow of people came to an abrupt halt and everyone looked up. The ensuing experience of light and music was mesmerizing.
As the night goes on, the crowd intensifies and chaos begins to take over. The city turns into one big street party. There is an outdoor bar set up nearby each Falla monument, which becomes the site of a lively party. Stages have gone up in the streets – I wouldn’t want to be living next to one of these. The music starts late and the parties go until at least 4 in the morning.