Voladores de Papantla is a ritual honoring the earth and the movement of the years as specified in the Mesoamerican calendar.
Five men climb to the top of a 100-foot tall pole onto a small platform. One man plays the flute as four men with thick ropes tied to their ankles at the same moment let themselves fall backward off of the platform. The four men slowly descend, like birds making 13 rotations before touching the ground. The ceremony pays homage to the four corners of the earth, the four winds, the four elements, the four seasons, and all the gods throughout the earth.
No celebration would be complete without fireworks. The fireworks here are beyond anything I’ve ever seen before.
Castillos are spinning towers of fireworks. Made of bamboo with fireworks taped on, these structures are sometimes 4 stories high. Burning parts spin, and as a grand finale, the top flies off sending a flaming light through the night sky.
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