Fireballs light up El Salvador festival sky

Fireballs light up El Salvador festival sky
Fireballs light up El Salvador festival sky
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September 1 (Reuters) – Face-painted and masked men scorched themselves with gasoline-soaked rags and rolled into tight flaming balls, as the town of Nejapa in El Salvador celebrated its annual fireball festival.

The festival commemorates a volcanic eruption in 1658 that forced residents to abandon the small town, located about 30 kilometers (18 miles) north of San Salvador.

Men take part in the “Bolas de Fuego” (fireballs) festival to remember Saint Geronimo’s fight against the devil with fireballs, in Nejapa, El Salvador August 31, 2022. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas

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The tradition may have its roots in a local legend that the city’s patron saint, San Jeronimo, was praying when the devil threw fireballs to distract him, said Jorge Escamilla, the mayor of Nejapa.

Late Wednesday, opposing groups hurled palm-sized fireballs at each other that lit up the night sky, as onlookers thronged the streets to cheer them on.

“It excites me and it’s a passion for me,” said one of the participants, Elmer Portal. “It’s the culture, and it’s the love for Nejapa. Every year we will be here.”

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Reporting by Wilfredo Pineda, Rodolfo Pena Roja and Liamar Ramos, Writing by Deepa Babington, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

The article is in French

. balls fire light up sky festival dEl Salvador

. Fireballs light Salvador festival sky

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