San Juanito’s Bomb-Hammer Festival

February is the month of Carnival, a tradition strongly rooted throughout Latin America and Mexico. However, there is a small town in the Mexican state of Guanajuato, that celebrates in a much more unusual fashion, choosing to use hammers and explosives together. That is why this festival is known as the Bomb Hammer Festival.

The Explosive Hammer Party or Bomb Hammer Festival takes place in San Juan de la Vega, a small town in Celaya, Guanajuato, where the day before Lent, hundreds of men and boys gather here to attach handmade explosives to their hammers.

These homemade explosives are about the size of a fist and are made with matches, sulfur and fireworks.

The hammer is hit hard to the ground, iron rails or a stone, creating explosions quite noisy and smoky.

This tradition is now more than 3 centuries old and is used to commemorate San Juanito, a character named Juan Vega who has been compared to Robin Hood, becoming famous for robbing the rich to give to the poor, taking the possessions of the rich Spanish landowners of the seventeenth century, until the viceroyal troops murdered him. Or at least that’s what the legend says.

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