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Horses purified by fire at Spain's La Luminarias festival

AFP

Published : Jan 17, 2018, 11:46 am IST
Updated : Jul 6, 2019, 3:32 pm IST
The traditional religious festival "Luminarias" is celebrated in honour of Saint Anthony, patron saint of animals. (Photo: AFP)
The traditional religious festival "Luminarias" is celebrated in honour of Saint Anthony, patron saint of animals. (Photo: AFP)
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The horseman jumps over a bonfire during the opening of the traditional religious festival "Luminarias" in honour of San Antonio Abad (Saint Anthony), patron saint of animals, on January 16, 2018. The festival takes place in San Bartolome de Pinares in the province of Avila in central Spain. (Photo: AFP)
The horseman jumps over a bonfire during the opening of the traditional religious festival "Luminarias" in honour of San Antonio Abad (Saint Anthony), patron saint of animals, on January 16, 2018. The festival takes place in San Bartolome de Pinares in the province of Avila in central Spain. (Photo: AFP)
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Hundreds of villagers in San Bartolome de Pinares participate in the tradition that dates back almost 500 years, on January 16, 2018. (Photo: AFP)
 Hundreds of villagers in San Bartolome de Pinares participate in the tradition that dates back almost 500 years, on January 16, 2018. (Photo: AFP)
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The ritual of riding the horses through bonfires is believed to purify and protect them.(Photo: AFP)
The ritual of riding the horses through bonfires is believed to purify and protect them.(Photo: AFP)
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The bonfire ritual occurs the night before the official day of honouring animals in the country. (Photo: AFP)
The bonfire ritual occurs the night before the official day of honouring animals in the country. (Photo: AFP)
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A horse and its rider appear engulfed by flames during the traditional religious festival "Luminarias" in honour of San Antonio Abad (Saint Anthony), patron saint of animals, on January 16, 2018. (Photo: AFP)
A horse and its rider appear engulfed by flames  during the traditional religious festival "Luminarias" in honour of San Antonio Abad (Saint Anthony), patron saint of animals, on January 16, 2018. (Photo: AFP)
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Animal rights groups have been critical of such an event. Locals reportedly insist the jumping tradition brings no harm to the animals.(Photo: AFP)
Animal rights groups have been critical of such an event. Locals reportedly insist the jumping tradition brings no harm to the animals.(Photo: AFP)
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The bonfire ritual only occurs till midnight. After that, the celebration continues with good food and drink into the early hours of the morning.(Photo: AFP)
 The bonfire ritual only occurs till midnight. After that, the celebration continues with good food and drink into the early hours of the morning.(Photo: AFP)
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Tags: Spain, bonfire, festival, tradition, Saint Anthony, Avila, San Bartolome de Pinares, La Luminarias