On February 22nd, Las Fallas was officially opened at La Cridà — a huge annual spectacle which takes place on the last Sunday of the month.
This year, tens of thousands of onlookers crowded into the spaces in front of the Torres de Serrano (location) to watch an acrobatic show, followed by the official opening speeches by the city’s mayor, Rita Bárbarez, and this year’s lovely Fallera Mayor, Marta Agustín Ferrando. And, this being Valencia, the festivities were concluded by a huge display of fireworks over the riverbed.
From our point of view, the acrobatics were alright but upstaged by the insane musical accompaniment. The band played intense orchestral heavy metal — the vengeful howling and aggression didn’t seem to fit the “happy” tone of La Cridà, but was undeniably entertaining.
The Fallera Mayor’s speech, clear and uplifting, joyfully called on Valencians to participate in their most important festival. After she finished, the crowd sang along to a Valencian anthem, and the resulting atmosphere on this beautiful, warm Sunday evening was invigorating.
And the fireworks — what’s there to say? Valencia regularly puts on the best fireworks displays I’ve ever seen, and the Cridà’s was no exception. So that’s it! Fallas 2009 is officially underway… I hope we all survive it.
Stay tuned for a video of La Crida.