The Falles is a four-day traditional celebration held in Valencia to commemorate Saint Joseph, the patron saint of the carpenters' guild, involving a multitude of processions, representing the religious, historical and comedic. The term 'falles'– a traditional phrase that can be traced back to the 18th century – refers to the gigantic structures made of cardboard by groups of artists and artisans, painters, sculptors and other craftsmen, who spend months producing elaborate constructions of paper and wax, wood and polystyrene foam, with some towering up to five storeys high.

Las Fallas 2016
Ninots burn on the last night of the Falles festival in Valencia, SpainJose Jordan/AFP
Las Fallas 2016
A ninot of the leader of the left-wing party, Podemos Pablo Iglesias, burns on the last night of the Falles festival in ValenciaJose Jordan/AFP
Las Fallas 2016
Ninots burn on the last night of the Fallas Festival in Valencia, SpainJose Jordan/AFP

On the final evening of Falles, which falls on 19 March, each group takes its ninot (Catalan for puppet or doll, which often portray current events, personalities and political figures) on a grand parade before they strap fireworks around it and it set on fire.

The parade, known in Catalan as the Cavalcada del Foc (the Fire Parade), takes place along the Colon and Plaça de la Porta de la Mar square. The spectacular celebration consists of fire, the symbol of the fiesta's spirit, in the grande finale of Falles – a noisy and colourful event featuring exhibitions, floats, giant mechanisms, people in costumes, rockets, gunpowder, street performances and music.

Las Fallas 2016
A man paints a ninot on the Comisión Falla Convento de Jerusalén during the Falles festival in ValenciaJose Jordan/AFP
Las Fallas 2016
A ninot representing the Valencian regional president, socialist Ximo Puig, is seen during the Falles festival in ValenciaJose Jordan/AFP
Las Fallas 2016
A ninot of former Catalan Generalitat president, Artur Mas, before it is set alight for the Falles festivalJose Jordan/AFP
Las Fallas 2016
Ninots of Jose Maria Aznar (top) Felipe Gonzalez and Zapatero (R) are displayed at the Falla de Almirante Cadarso-Conde Altea during Falles in ValenciaJose Jordan/AFP
Falles 2016
People visit fallas displayed during FallesJose Jordan/AFP
Falles 2016
Fireworks explode as effigies start to burn during the finale of Falles, which welcomes spring and honours Saint Joseph's Day, in ValenciaHeino Kalis/Reuters
Las Fallas 2016
Ninots burn on the last night of Falles in ValenciaJose Jordan/AFP
Las Fallas 2016
Spectators watch ninots burn on the last night of Falles in ValenciaJose Jordan/AFP
Las Fallas 2016
Ninots burn on the last night of Falles in ValenciaJose Jordan/AFP
Las Fallas 2016
Ninots burn on the last night of Falles in ValenciaJose Jordan/AFP
Las Fallas 2016
Ninots burn on the last night of Falles in ValenciaHeino Kalis/Reuters
Las Fallas 2016
Ninots burn on the last night of Falles in ValenciaHeino Kalis/Reuters
Las Fallas 2016
Ninots burn on the last night of Falles in ValenciaHeino Kalis/Reuters
Las Fallas 2016
Ninots burn on the last night of Falles in ValenciaJose Jordan/AFP
Las Fallas 2016
Ninots burn on the last night of Falles in ValenciaJose Jordan/AFP
Las Fallas 2016
Ninots burn on the last night of Falles in ValenciaJose Jordan/AFP
Las Fallas 2016
Ninots burn on the last night of Falles in ValenciaJose Jordan/AFP
Las Fallas 2016
Ninots burn on the last night of Falles in ValenciaJose Jordan/AFP