Hot to trot: Spain celebrates fiery festival to ward off evil
Jessica Jones · 18 Jan 2016, 11:09
Published: 18 Jan 2016 11:09 GMT+01:00
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The traditional religious festival of Luminarias is celebrated in the village of San Bartolome de Pinares in Avila, Castile and León, in honour of Saint Anthony, the patron saint of animals.
A man getting some dutch courage before he rides through a bonfire. Photo: AFP
The festival was celebrated on January 16th - that night, locals light up to 30 bonfires and around 300 horsemen ride at full speed through the flames.
The festival stems from medieval times, when Spaniards believed that fires were magic and had purifying properties.
Now, the rites of the fire are said to ward off evil spirits and protect the coming year’s harvest.