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Taking Pyrotechnics to Another Level
06 September 2017 @ 12:12

If you have been to Valencia in Fallas you may think that you have seen the ultimate pyrotechnic spectacle but I can assure you, you haven’t. Some call it madness, some call it stupidity but the locals call it fun! Just two weeks ago on Sunday 27th August in Paterna the annual celebration of 'La Cordá' took place. This unusual celebration takes pyrotechnic spectacles to another level.

 

This crazy “fiesta” happened by accident just as the Tomatina in Buñol did. In 1898 a group of friends were having dinner in the street and this pleasant summer evening ended up in a battle of gunpowder rockets. Paterna in those days was famous for its development of the Valencian “Traca” a long length of rockets tied together which once lit would produce a chain reaction of explosions. This battle developed into an annual event until it became what it is known today as, La Cordá.

 

For those who have no idea what I am talking about, every year in Paterna near Valencia, a cage, which is 125m long and 8m wide is built along the Calle Mayor in the village. This cage is designed to hold approximately 200 experienced “rocket throwers”. The rocket throwers are each given their position inside the cage and allocated their series of rockets to set off. Following the commands of the Master Rocket thrower, a symphony of explosions and fire start to fill the cage around the 200 participants held inside it. The act lasts for about 20 - 25 minutes and a minimum of 50,000 rockets are released at  rate of 2000 rockets a minute!

 

 

 

This year they set off 55,000 rockets in about 20 minutes! What looks like complete anarchy is actually planned and programmed to the second. There are three type of rockets used in the cage, one that are designed to fly along the ground rebounding off the walls and the participants, others that are designed to jump into mid air and rebound off the bodies and walls and others that are designed to fly up over their heads and fill the air with trails of fire and sparks, all are capable of taking you hand clean off!

 

 

It is an extremely dangerous event, even though the locals don’t seem to be too worried about the dangers. Imagine 55,000 rockets being let off in a cage rebounding off the walls, the ground and the ceiling and you in the middle of it! That is the Cordá! Naturally all participants aren’t suicidal and take same precautions wearing protective clothing and facemasks that are similar to fencing helmets to avoid major injuries but every year there are injuries and this year there were “only” 21 and not serious according to the local press, no one needed to be taken to hospital. So if you happen to be near Valencia on the last Sunday of August next year, pass by Paterna and take a look at this insane spectacle!

 

 



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2 Comments


Getting Older said:
09 September 2017 @ 09:51

I thought the men in our local towns who let off rockets from a holder on their arm were crazy but this takes it to a new level!!!!!


Albarb said:
09 September 2017 @ 11:04

This also happens in our village, Rotgla i corbera, south of valencia, and will happen this sunday afternoon at the end of our fiesta.The participents will not start until the local bombas are in attendance ready to extinguish any fires from escaping rockets, which happens quite often.


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