For five crazy days and nights Valencia came alive, people of all ages gathered on the streets to enjoy the pointless process of buying petardos, setting fire to the petardos, watching the petardos explode, and then buying more petardos.

I have quite an addictive personality, so watching petardos explode became mundane very quickly, so I found new ways to make the process more creative and dangerous. Here are my top tips:

  1. What’s better than one big BANG?….10 BIG BANGS! Set fire to many petardos at once. By doing this you can make a mini ‘mascleta’ and destroy a bit of road at the same time.
  2. Put your petardos inside an empty can. By containing the explosive energy you achieve a louder noise and destroy some metal in the process. Perfect.
  3. Throw petardos at people’s feet. This is a controversial technique and may result in someone having a heart attack, but I’m a guiri so everything’s ok 🙂

But now we have to face up to reality. Fallas is over, and life goes on as normal. The faces of Valencian people the day after the Fallas was one of great sadness and depression. All serotonin levels were depleted; you can’t have 5 days of constant fiesta without a serious anticlimax the day after. The great fires of the ‘Crema’ (burning the falla models) were put out by the tears of proud falleras, and all that remain are memories and hangovers.

But fear not! The passing of time is inevitable, and before you know it Fallas will be here again 🙂 In the meantime, here is an English exercise so you can practice some phrasal verbs, because without phrasal verbs life is nothing.

ENGLISH EXERCISE: Fill in the spaces

Don’t be sad. Cheer ………(1)! Even though the Fallas are over there are still many things to look ……….(2) to. Summer in Valencia is a magical time, so take …….(3) your ‘pañuelo’ and put ……..(4) your sun-cream, because things are about to get hotter than a burning Ninot.

Easter (Semana Santa) is coming ………..(5), so if you’re of a religious persuasion then surely you can’t wait to shout like a crazy person at a statue of the Virgin Mary which is carried around the city. Also, apparently, there is an old tradition of throwing mud out of your window. If throwing mud turns you ……(6), then head …….(7) El Cabanyal on Easter Saturday. 

After that there is a massive fair which runs throughout July. You can pick ………(8) some local products including the ever-popular delicacy ‘Orxata i Fartons’. Also, there is a procession called ‘Battle of the Flowers’, where women throw flowers at spectators. 

So, to clarify, Valencians love throwing petardos, mud and flowers, and if that wasn’t enough, they have also come …….(9) with one of the most famous throwing festivals in the world – the Tomatina – where people chuck Tomatoes at each other in a sleepy town called Buñol. 

So, I hope you haven’t run …….(10) of energy, because there are still a lot of things to throw this year!


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