La Cremá - Fallas de Valencia The Burning - Fallas Festival from Valencia Music - Bradford Nyght “Pantheon 2”
What is “La Cremà” ?
On the final night of Falles, around midnight on March 19, these falles are burnt as huge bonfires. This is known as the cremà (the burning), the climax of the whole event, and the reason why the constructions are called falles (“torches”).
Traditionally, the falla in the Plaça de l’Ajuntament is burned last. Many neighbourhoods have a falla infantil (a children’s falla, smaller and without satirical themes), which is held a few metres away from the main one. This is burnt first, at 10:00 pm.
The main neighbourhood falles are burnt closer to midnight; the burning of the falles in the city centre often start later. For example, in 2005, the fire brigade delayed the burning of the Egyptian funeral falla in Carrer del Convent de Jerusalem until 1:30 am, when they were sure all safety concerns were addressed.Each falla is laden with fireworks which are lit first.
The construction itself is lit either after or during the explosion of these fireworks. Falles burn quite quickly, and the heat given off is felt by all around. The heat from the larger ones often drives the crowd back a couple of metres, even though they are already behind barriers that the fire brigade has set several metres from the construction. In narrower streets, the heat scorches the surrounding buildings, and the firemen douse the façades, window blinds, street signs, etc. with their hoses to stop them catching fire or melting, from the beginning of the cremà until it cools down after several minutes.
Away from the falles, people frolic in the streets, the whole city resembling an open-air dance party, except that instead of music there is the incessant (and occasionally deafening) sound of people throwing fireworks around randomly. There are stalls selling products such as the typical fried snacks porres, xurros and bunyols, as well as roasted chestnuts or trinkets.