El Salvador’s Festival of Fire – level 3

07-09-2016 07:00

They say that you shouldn’t play with fire, but in El Salvador it seems hundreds of people have been throwing gasoline-soaked rags at one another. They risked serious burns for an annual church festival in the town of Nejapa.

The tradition honours a huge volcanic eruption in 1922. The fireball throwing is to remember the old town which the volcano destroyed.

However, another legend says that the hot lava flow from the volcano was actually the local Christian Saint Geronimo fighting the Devil with balls of fire.

The festival has been going for more a decade and there is still no set of rules. Authorities are quite concerned that one day things might get out of hand because of that. But for now, despite the obvious dangers, few major injuries have ever been reported.

Difficult words: soaked (extremely wet), rag (a piece of old cloth), annual (happening every year), honour (show respect), huge (very big).

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