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Last Updated: Monday, 20 March 2006, 17:39 GMT
In pictures: Fiesta in Valencia


Every year, in the third week of March, giant sculptures and crowds of people fill the streets of Valencia for the fiesta of Las Fallas.

Falla of Prime Minister Zapatero

The sculptures of wood, papier mache and polystyrene are based on a theme - often mocking politicians of the moment, such as Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.


More than 100,000 revellers - known as falleras and falleros - don traditional costume for three days of street parades. (Photo: Oliver Owen)


The fallas and smaller "ninots" surrounding them are designed by professional artists but commissioned by a neighbourhood association or "casal". (Photo: Oliver Owen)

Falla of director Pedro Almodovar

The climax of the festival is "La Crema" (burning), when the sculptures are doused in petrol and set alight at midnight in spectacular fashion.

Fireman at Fallas

After a year of preparation and only four days on public display, all the work goes up in smoke in seconds.


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