Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Finally, Las Fallas, The Cremá!

As you probably know, Fallas goes on for a good week or so, but the most important day of Las Fallas, is the last one, March the 19th, the day (or rather, the night) of the Cremá. Cremá means 'burning', and it's the culmination of a whole year of planning, fund-raising, building and celebrating.

The night of the Cremá warms-up in Valencia with the Cabalgata del Fuego (Fire Parade), when an army of seemingly fearless people cavort, dance and prance up Avenida Colón from 7 p.m., whirling and twirling fireworks to the delight of the large crowds that gather.

My particular favourite this year, was a giant, fire-spewing tortoise...

All this is (almost unbelieveably) only a warm-up, for the Cremá itself, which starts at midnight (although the main Falla, in Valencia's Plaza del Ayuntamiento, doesn't burn until 1 a.m.).

This year, having survived the Fire Parade in Valencia, we decided to jump on a train and take a look at the Cremá in one of the other towns which also participates in the Fallas activities, Burriana. Here, the crowds were much smaller than in Valencia, and the atmosphere much more Spanish with fewer 'tourists'. But the Cremá is just as explosive.

It's a long night in Burriana. A team of Bomberos (fire-fighters) has to attend each burning, so the 18 fallas are torched in sequence.

See you all next year?

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