Face Of The Day

Las Fallas Festival In Valencia

A ‘Ninot’ (puppet) depicting German Cancellor Angela Merkel burns during the last day of the Las Fallas Festival on March 20, 2013 in Valencia, Spain. The Fallas festival, which runs from March 15 until March 19, celebrates the arrival of spring with fireworks, fiestas and bonfires made by large puppets named Ninots. By David Ramos/Getty Images.

More on the Falles and ninots from Wiki:

Formerly, much time would be spent by the Casal faller preparing the ninots (Valencian for puppets or dolls). During the four days leading up to 19 March, each group takes its ninot out for a grand parade, and then mounts it, each on its own elaborate firecracker-filled cardboard and paper-mâché artistic monument in a street of the given neighbourhood. This whole assembly is a falla.

The ninots and their falles are constructed according to an agreed upon theme that has traditionally been, and continues to be, a satirical jab at anything or anyone who draws the attention of the critical eyes of the falleros—the celebrants themselves. In modern times, the whole two week long festival has spawned a huge local industry, to the point that an entire suburban area has been designated the City of Falles – Ciutat fallera. Here, crews of artists and artisans, sculptors, painters, and many others all spend months producing elaborate constructions of paper and wax, wood and styrofoam tableaux towering up to five stories, composed of fanciful figures in outrageous poses arranged in gravity-defying architecture, each produced at the direction of the many individual neighbourhood Casals faller who vie with each other to attract the best artists, and then to create the most outrageous monument to their target.