Las Luminarias, the Spanish festival made a comeback on Sunday (January 16). About 100 horses jumped through bonfires in a purification ceremony. This was the first time that the festival was organised since the start of the Covid pandemic.

The traditional nighttime celebration takes place in San Bartolome de Pinares every Jan. 16, the eve of Saint Anthony’s Day, Spain’s patron saint of animals.

It was canceled last year because of pandemic restrictions.

Revelers rode their horses through the narrow cobble-stoned streets, which according to tradition, purifies the animals with the smoke and flames of the bonfires for the coming year.

After an hour of horses jumping over flames, revellers then took to dancing and drinking.

“This comes from thousands of years ago. So that animals did not get unwell, the old priests would bless them with fires so that they would jump and be purified,” said Fermin Abad, 64, a local resident.

About 100 horses and their owners took part in the festivities, Reuters witnesses said.

Despite coming under criticism from animal rights groups over the years, organisers told Reuters that the horses were not harmed due to precautions taken by riders to cut horse hair to avoid burns.

According to Source of photo: internet