One festival that goes with a bang is the Feast of San Juan de la Vega held every February in the eponymous town in Mexico and dubbed the world’s most dangerous festival. The festival is held in honour of St John who is said to have assisted a wealthy miner and rancher by the name of Juan de la Vega recover his gold which was taken by bandits.
The highlight of the event is where participants take sledgehammers packed with a mix of sulphur and chlorate on the end of the head and strike them against a piece of metal rail track. The result is a big bang and a cloud of smoke, the force of the explosion is sometimes so strong that it flings contestants backwards.
This year only 43 were injured, one serious enough to be stretchered off to hospital with leg injuries. Around 6,000 attended this year, along with 100 police to keep an eye on proceedings and a panoply of medical staff. In 2008 50 spectators were injured by shrapnel so it is not an event for the faint hearted.
Here’s some footage of the crazy event