On our way home from the final mascletà of Fallas 2009 at the Ayuntamiento, we walked right into a small street mascletà, set up on Calle de Adresadors.
“Cute!”, we thought. “This ought to be an enjoyable, light finale. These little firecrackers are colorful and non-threatening!”
Oh… how wrong. We stood no further than 10 meters away from the roped-off area, but by the end, I’d backed off twice that distance, whimpering like a stricken puppy. This was a short, violent mascletà, and our proximity made for a terrifying experience. After it was done, I patted my ears to ensure they weren’t bleeding.
So, take this as a warning. Even small mascletàs can be extremely, extremely loud. Keep your distance if you value your eardrums. And if you do end up next to one, don’t plug your ears with your fingers — we saw some workers warning tourists about it. The rule is that you should keep both your ears and mouth open.