Las Fallas is the biggest festival celebrated in the city of Valencia, Spain and it is held every year between the 1st and the 19th of March. It is a crazy and noisy, but family friendly festival. We literally took thousands of photos during this year's Las Fallas.
This is a photo essay of our favorite fallas this year. The fallas are papier-mache dolls with a wood structure. They can be anything from 3 meters high to 4 story high. They are on display throughout Valencia for a few days and dramatically burned on the night of 19th of March under the eyes of millions of tourists and locals.
This pretty face is a detail of the falla that got the second prize
The winning falla of 2012. It was huge! See how small the people around it are
To grasp a sense of how big these papier mache statues are, look at the men in the book
Over 700 fallas are erected in Valencia each year. Half of them are no more than 3 meters high and they are built for the children
The fallas are usually humorous and satirical and criticize personalities and behaviors
There are many prize categories and no falla is left without a prize
This was a gorgeous falla on the theme of Mother Africa. We saw it burning on the night of the 19th of March
Las Fallas are a Valencian traditional celebration in praise of Saint Joseph, the patron saint of the carpenters
Some fallas are a few stories high. They are the ones competing in the special category
These papier mache dolls have a wood structure
Every falla tells a story. You really need to be aware of the major events of the past year to grasp their message
But sometimes the fallas are just the embodiment of an idiom
Falla in front of the Town Hall. It does not participate in any contest
My husband loved this stylish French lady. Luckily they've burned it and once again I can sleep without worries ;)
Only 2 small puppets are saved from the fire every year and they are kept in the Fallero Museum next to
the City of Arts and Sciences. The museum can be visited year round and it hosts fallas from the last 80 years
This was may favorite falla this year. Unfortunately of won only the 6th prize
This girl is part of the above falla. She was gorgeous
The fat guy represent the US and the turkey in his hand is Europe. It doesn't look good!
Ultrasound showing baby with iPod. Are we a doomed species?
No matter how big a falla, it will burn in less than 30 minutes. It is very important for the fallas to be built right and collapse within themselves, not fall on the
surrounding buildings and the people watching them burn
Artists work year round to build these amazing puppets
The most expensive falla ever was built in 2009 and cost almost 1 million euro
Let the fire purify it all. The heat can be unbearable if you are too close to the fire
Millions of euro are just being burned
This was the second falla we saw burning this year. It's not easy to see more than one as they are burned more or less at the same time.
Just as this falla caught fire, a nasty wind started, and rain followed
The firemen have to be next to each burning falla to prevent buildings from catching fire. They get help from other fireman teams from outside Valencia.
On the night of the 19th of March, the protagonist is the fire, but the heroes are the firemen.