BOLAS DE FUEGO (FIREBALL FESTIVAL)
Every year on the evening of August 31st, inhabitants of Nejapa, a small town located 18 miles north of San Salvador, participate in the Fireball Festival by painting their faces to resemble skulls and drenching their clothes and gloves in water. The festival consists of two teams, one good and one evil, who take to the streets and hurl balls of fabric soaked in kerosene at each other at close range while being cheered on by crowds of spectators. The event lasts for approximately two hours and concludes with no winners, only the triumph of good over evil.
The Fireball Festival commemorates a significant volcanic eruption that took place in 1658 and forced the town's inhabitants to flee. The eruption was believed by citizens of El Salvador to be a battle between the local patron saint 'San Jeronimo' and the Devil, which resulted in fireballs being hurled at them from the volcano. In tribute to this event, the Bolas de Fuego festival was first organized and celebrated in 1922.
The Fireball Festival is one of the most notable events on Nejapa's calendar and draws in a large number of tourists from around the world to witness the spectacle. The festival is celebrated without any set rules or laws to follow, making it a source of both celebration and criticism. Nonetheless, it is a guaranteed feast for the eyes.
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