The Bonfires of San Sebastian

  • The bonfires in honor of San Sebastián or “SantoBastián”

    The night of January 19th is celebrated in honor of San (Saint) Sebastián, where huge bonfires are formed in each district of Puebla.

    Formerly the tradition, was that the neighbours gathered olive thickets, in order to clean walls and the farm. Leaves and branches from the olive trees were piled up to make a large central fire. Many neighbours threw their old furniture or anything that did not serve them any longer, to make the fire burn, thus symbolizing a process of renewal and purity. The residents of the neighbourhood competed to see which bonfire was the largest and burnt the most.

    This tradition has evolved to the current coexistence around big fires, where each area makes its own bonfire, with branches and dried leaves from the olive trees and where typical food and drink of our people is served. It´s curious how the more daring of people leap over the embers of the fire. The night ends when the fire becomes ashes.