Giant Sculptures Burn in Valencia Ending Annual ‘Fallas’ Festival

NTD Staff
By NTD Staff
March 20, 2018World News
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Giant Sculptures Burn in Valencia Ending Annual ‘Fallas’ Festival

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The Spanish city of Valencia ended its five-day annual festival known as ‘Las Fallas’ on Monday (March 19) at midnight setting alight and burning hundreds of giant sculptures made of wood, cardboard, plaster and paper-mache as thousands of locals and tourists watched and celebrated.

The focus of the festival is the creation and destruction of giant ‘ninots’ (puppets or dolls). ‘Las Fallas’ translates as ‘the fires’ in Valencian lingo.

Every year the different districts of Valencia build a “falla”, which takes the whole year to design, build and paint, and compete for the first prize in the city’s contest.

There are also sculptures designed for children which compete in the “children’s fallas.”

The big paper-mache statues usually represent Spanish political events in an ironic and sarcastic way, poking fun at politicians, celebrities and local and international events.

Every year one Falla is saved from the flames thanks to people’s votes, and it is moved to The Museum of the Fallero Artist for posterity.

The celebration is thought to have originated from pagan festivals celebrating the end of the winter and is also considered a homage to Saint Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters, builders of the sculptures.

 

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