Practically in every country there is a tradition to organize various parades or festivals.
You can just be a spectator and watch for example the dancing actors in colorful African outfits at Festima, the Festival of masks in Burkina Faso, or take an active part in tomato fights at the Tomatina festival in Spain, or in oranges fights in Italy, if you prefer a larger caliber.
Fun and laughter accompany these holidays, and tourists from all over the world are taking part in the action, or posing on camera with a smiley face, or taking selfies with the processions or people dressed in funny costumes in the background.
But all these festivals are for wimps in comparison with the extreme festival “Explosive Hammers” in Mexico.
Here, even an onlooker will be shocked by what the participants of this truly explosive event are doing.
Who would have thought that in the small town of San Juan de la Vega there is one of the most dangerous, but very spectacular festivals, probably in the whole world.
Every February, residents of this city organize small explosions in honor of their town’s patron St. John the Baptist.
There are quite a few versions of the origins of the festival and they all go back to the 16-17 century.
One version is that the Saint helped a man whose name was Juan de la Vega (like the name of the town) find the gold stolen from him, or maybe this Juan was a local “Robin Hood” and fought with the big feudal lords and distributed the stolen gold among the poor.
Another version says that the festival was founded in honor of the victory in the battle over the robbers, who took the gold from the miners.
And now no one knows the reason for using of the explosives at the festival, but it is obvious that this is somehow connected with the mining industry.
So what do people do during the festival of Exploding Hammers?
First of all men prepare homemade explosives made from fertilizer and sulfur (do not try this at home), pack these explosives mines in plastic bags and paper, then attach them to a sledgehammer with a long handle.
With all their might the participants hit a metal plate with their hammers.
It is easy to guess that when they hit the plate, a deafening explosion occurs with a pile of smoke and fragments flying to all directions.
Despite the fact that the explosives are self-made, the force of the explosion is so powerful that it simply pulls the sledgehammer out of the hands and can throw the person away like a toy.
The festival participants, though, use protective mittens – many still have their hands covered with small shrapnel cuts.
And as the locals told, one participant split his forehead in half.
But an hour later, the guy returned with a bandaged head and continued to take part in this madness
The festival visitors should be careful too as the fragments can reach them easily.
The event is really extreme so there are always ambulances and policemen on duty.
But taking into account statistics, injuries are extremely rare.
If you still have the courage and decided to visit San Juan, it is worth bearing in mind that this is a rather small town, despite being growing every year.
Therefore, the best option for booking apartments will be in the nearest large city with a population of 350 thousand people called Celaya.
Here, you can certainly choose something worthwhile booking, unlike the town of St Juan – practically, an urban-type settlement.
The festival lasts from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
If you can not stand the noise for a long time, then visit the local market.
There you can always buy both clothes and food. And of course very famous Mexican turnip or another name -Jikama.
Prepare your travel bag with necessary things before hand.
Take earplugs with you so you will not be deafened by explosions, and be sure to protect your eyes with glasses.
Well, the most unpleasant moment is the smell of sulfur, which penetrates into the lungs after each explosion, and there will be a lot of it.
Locals use tight bandanas to protect their nose and mouth from the pungent smell, but you can use something more effective.
But remember – this is really a dangerous festival.
One out of 50 spectators has already received cuts from the fragments.
So get a bulletproof vest and a ticket to Guanajuato Mexico.
And yes, a spare camera also will be of use.