Balls of fire light up Salvadoran night sky

STORY: Participants gather every year on this date in the town located some 18 miles north of San Salvador, to commemorate a volcanic eruption in 1658 that forced all of the residents to abandon the town.

In a religious twist to the celebrations, locals say the fireballs are used because the hot lava that flowed from the volcano was actually the local Christian Saint Jeronimo fighting the devil with balls of fire.

In a modern manifestation of the celebration, opposing groups launch palm-sized fireballs at each other whilst onlookers throng streets to cheer on the fire throwers.

Over the years, the local tradition has become a major tourist drawcard for the small town.