Photos from Mexico’s National Pyrotechnic Festival
The National Pyrotechnic Festival is an annual event that takes place in Tultepec, Mexico. The festival promotes the country’s tradition of production and use of fireworks in honour of John of God, the patron saint of fireworks makers. Tultepec produces about half of all Mexico’s fireworks.
The main event, a parade of “toritos” or bull-shaped frames with fireworks on them, began in the mid 19th century. The modern national festival began in 1989 and includes various events including fireworks competitions, but the main event remains that of the toritos, with about 250 “running” along the streets of Tultepec in 2013. [Source]
Feria Nacional de la Pirotecnia Tultepec
The National Pyrotechnic Festival lasts for nine days and attracts more than 100,000 visitors to the municipality. Although the event started locally, it is now open to all fireworks makers in Mexico. There are three main events along with amusement rides, concerts, dance, release of sky lanterns and regional food.
Castillos: The first of the main events is a contest of “castillos” (lit. castles). Castillos are frames made of wood, reed and paper to which various fireworks are affixed. These fireworks are set off to make images and/or parts of the castillo structure move. The castillos created for this event measure between twenty five and thirty meters, requiring about fifteen days to build. When set off, they take between twenty and thirty minutes to go through all of their features
Pamplonada: The second, oldest and most important event is the “pamplonada.” Named after the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain, these “little bulls” or “toritos” are also fireworks frames. The larger toritos are made by groups of thirty to forty people and can have as many as 4,000 fireworks on them. In the 2013 event, over 250 of these toritos were registered to participate.
Contest: The last of the major event is also a contest. This contest involves performances that combine fireworks and music.
Photographer Thomas Prior attended the festival and took an incredible series of images (19 total) that you can find on his personal website. It shows fireworks being lit in very close proximity to attendees.
– Wikipedia: National Pyrotechnic Festival
– Thomas Prior Photography
– Feria Nacional de la Pirotecnia Tultepec Official Facebook Page
– Wired: Complete Idiocy Makes for Pretty Amazing Fireworks Photos
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