VALENCIA, March 20 — The Spanish city of Valencia’s five day festival known as Las Fallas ended at midnight yesterday with a ceremony in which nearly 380 papier mache sculptures were set alight.
The crowded city, which has celebrated the annual tradition with fireworks, costume parades, paella contests, bullfights and street parties for almost a week, came to an end with the burning of the famous “ninots” sculptures located all over the city.
Every year, the different districts of Valencia build a “Falla”, which takes the whole year to design, build and paint, and compete to win the first prize in the city contest.
Neighbourhood residents attending the ceremony were joined by their “Fallera Mayor” and “Fallera Junior Mayor”, adult and child representatives of the local Falla association. They are chosen by their neighbours to represent them and hold the title for a year.
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. — Reuters