March festivals: Spain’s puppet festival

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By Karen Hart

Investigate a Spanish puppet festival and make simple puppets in your own classroom.

Las Fallas

Image by Keith Ellwood / Wikimedia Commons

Known as Europe’s wildest spring party, Las Fallas is certainly the biggest puppet show you’re ever likely to see. It’s a time when the city gets overtaken by enormous, papier mâché sculptures built by teams of local artists, with each neighbourhood sponsoring its own puppet or ‘falla’.

The festivities begin the night before the parade, with the ‘plantà’, (overnight setting up of the fallas), when townfolk wake to find over 350 huge puppets have appeared in their streets. Reaching over 15m high and costing hundreds of pounds to build, these amazing, but grotesque creations are often parodies of well-known celebrities and public figures.

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