Las Fallas is a Day Nineteen annual traditional festival celebrated in Valencia, Spain. The festival has its origins in the eighteenth century, when carpenters burned the remains of a rigorous work winters in honor of their patron St. Joseph. Over the years, lots of leftovers turned into huge statues of wood and paper, known as La falla, humorously criticizing society. The actual statues are often made by professional artists (known Fallero artistas) who put in a year’s work to build the most expensive falla spectacular. For three days, from 16th to March 19th, these fallas adorn each corner and place, some up to a 6-storey building.
The process of building a falla is long, complicated and expensive. A Falla can take up to a year to build and costs can reach 600,000 euros. The artist first makes a drawing and then a 3D model. The model allows the artist to adjust or approve the design. Then the dolls are presented in separate clay and covered with plaster, which serve as a mold. The artist fills the mold paper mache, which is left to dry. The two halves of dried dolls are put together, sanded and painted. The artists also use modern materials like fiberglass and polyester as well as the traditional paper mache.
Once all the dolls are all finished, they are placed on a wooden support structure. The Falla is mounted on the street with the help of a crane, a process often lasting several days. After decorating the streets for three days, it is time for the crema: The Burning ritual all the fallas. A total of 370 buildings (totaling approximately 10 million euros) goes up in smoke. It marks both the end of the festivities and the beginning of the next work cycle. As the last flames were extinguished, the Fallero artista already thinking about the design of next year. However, Valencia artistas Fallero devote their time to build fallas. Some of them are now working abroad in Japan, Canada and the United States for help in decorating theme parks, carnival parades and other events.