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Pyrotechnic Madness
13 August 2019 @ 21:54

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 good fun!

On Sunday 25th August in Paterna the annual celebration of 'La Cordá' will take 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 a rate of 2000 rockets a minute!

 

 

 

Last 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 types of rockets used in the cage, one that is 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 last 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 this year, pass by Paterna and take a look at this insane spectacle!

 

 



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2 Comments


BCNLocal said:
20 August 2019 @ 02:34

A curious and wrapped-up safe, not going anywhere very quickly, and sad, uninspired emulation of the correfocs in Catalunya.
Thanks for posting.


eos_ian said:
20 August 2019 @ 08:01

Uninspired emulation?? That's a bit critical don't you think? La Cordá is believed to go back to before 1868 which is when it was first mentioned in the local press.... The Correfoc is stated to have originated in 1978....An unnecessary comment, but thanks for reading.


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