Written by Reuters
02 Sep, 2019 | 2:12 pm
Reuters – The town of Nejapa, El Salvador celebrated its annual fireball festival on Saturday (August 31) with participants pelting each other with rags drenched in gasoline that have been rolled into tight flaming balls.
Participants gather every year on this date in the town located some 30 kilometres (18 miles) north of San Salvador, to commemorate a volcanic eruption in 1658 that forced all of the residents to abandon the town.
Local churches and their worshippers have embraced the tradition with urban legend saying that the hot lava that flowed from the volcano was actually the local Christian Saint Jerome fighting the devil with balls of fire. The fireball hurling is meant to remember the old town which was destroyed in the battle.
Nejapa resident Carlos Rivera, dressed in fatigues and ready for the fireball battle, explained, “Our grandparents, our great-grandparents told us different stories about this event. Some said that Saint Jerome stopped the fireballs that came from the volcano here in El Salvador… Others say it was a fight between him (Saint Jerome) and the devil, and he had to throw fireballs.”
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