Photographer's Note

Valencia, Spain, the Mediterranean city per excellence, overflows with gaiety, energy and fireworks during the celebration of its Major Festival: the Fallas.From the 13th to 19th of March, this regional capital on the river Turia celebrates in tremendous style, oneof the best known and emblematic festivals of Spain.The Fallas are creations of papier-mache, wood and wax, which the townsfolk of Valencia build in the streets and burn on thenight of the feast of St. Joseph. These figures, called "ninots" by the Valencians, allude to events and personalities of the day.
The ninots, half satirical, half symbolical, are created in a style somewhere between comic strips and Walt Disney cartoons.The figures, which represents a whole year's work for hundreds of people, are burnt on the night of 19 March in towering flames, and each bonfire is a temple devoted to this colossal festival of fire.
The Crema is the culmination of the Fallas. For some it is the saddest moment, while for others it is the hight point of the festival. On the night of the feast of St. Joseph, 19 March, the Fallas are lit. The last effigies to be devoured by the flames are those Fallas that have been awarded prizes by the Genrakl Fallas Committee and those in the City Hall square. Only one "ninot" is saved each year, from the flames by popular vote, and exhibited in the Museum of the Ninot together with those from various years which won the same privilege. Kilos and kilos of fireworks surround the monuments. At about midnight Valencia goes up in flames. The spectacle of the fire and noise, produced by more than three hundred fires spread throughtout the city,
is quite something to see.

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Additional Photos by Jose Manuel (anakin) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 554 W: 63 N: 528] (2775)
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