March 16, 2017 / 6:28 PM / in 3 years

Giant satirical puppets go on display in Spanish 'Fallas' fiesta

A figure of a Fallas monument pictures U.S. President Donald Trump during the Fallas festival in Valencia, Spain, March 16, 2016. REUTERS/Heino Kalis

VALENCIA (Reuters) - Satirical effigies of United States President Donald Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and footballer Cristiano Ronaldo went on display on Thursday for Spain’s Fallas festival in the Mediterranean port city of Valencia.

Made of materials such as wood, plaster and paper mache, months of painstaking work go into constructing the “ninots”, Valencian for dolls, some reaching soaring heights only to be burned to the ground in an explosive finale.

Commemorating Saint Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters, the annual tradition is believed to have evolved from pagan rituals marking the change of seasons with a five-day fiesta of processions and fireworks.

Hundreds of sculptures, often of celebrities, are exhibited beforehand for the public to vote on their favorite with only two saved from the bonfire to join fellow survivors in a permanent collection at the local Fallas Museum.

Reporting by Amanda Calvo, Editing by Sonya Dowsett and Toby Davis

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