Fireball Festival
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"It's like a snowball fight. With balls of fire."
Once a year on August 31st, the little town of Nejapa, just outside of San Salvador hosts the Fireball Festival (Bolas de Fuego). Started 90 years ago to commemerate the eruption of a nearby volcano, balls of cloth wrapped with wire are soaked in kerosene during the two months before the festival. On the 31st, two teams dress up in costume - skeletons painted on clothing, "war-paint" - don gardening gloves and fight fire with fire, throwing the burning balls at each other and the audience who line the streets. One of the most organized festivals in El Salvador, emergency medics are on hand, police keep order and guests have a chance to hold the balls of fire before and after the fight. Usually music follows the fight and a good time is had by all!
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