In Peru, big community fiestas celebrating patron saints usually involve castillones, tall pyrotechnic towers. Fireworks and sparks shoot out from these castillos (castles) in a series of spectacular shows as Peruvians often celebrate right underneath the extravaganza. I still have a tiny scar from a projectile firework that landed on my upper back as I danced under the castillon during my very first few days in Peru, celebrating the patron saint, Santiago, for Peru’s Fiestas Patrias (Independence Day).The toro loco (crazy bull) is a variation of the pyrotechnic tradition. A person holds up or carries a bull-shaped structure on his head and runs around through the crowd as sparks and sometimes more propeller fireworks fly out from the “bull.”
There’s a reason the use of fireworks by the public is banned in various places around the world, including Davao City (where I was born in the Philippines), Ireland, Chile and Malaysia.
Get a feel for the grandness of these types of celebrations with castillones and toros locos in the following video.
What kinds of positive or negative memories do you have with fireworks? Are celebration and tradition worth the danger of fireworks?