Bolas de Fuego, the Fireball Festival

We've shown you some strange and even dangerous local festivals from around the world, but this one takes the cake. In the town of Nejapa in El Salvador, people celebrate Bolas de Fuego every August 31st by flinging fireballs at each other!

The Fireball Festival commemorates a landmark volcanic eruption in 1922, which, according to legend, was actually a battle between local patron saint San Jeronimo and the Devil. As a tribute to this divine clash between good and evil, Nejapa becomes an unregulated battleground for two warring groups, who marinate balls of cloth in kerosene, light them on fire, and hurl them at one another at close range while flanking crowds cheer them on.

The participants wear gloves and clothing soaked in water. Bystanders are encouraged to wear wet clothing and carry water as well, since someone always gets hurt. -via Kottke

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