Here are some fire festivals taking place regularly around the world.
Up Helly Aa – Lerwick, Scotland – Europe’s biggest fire festival with a Viking theme that takes place in early January. It has only been cancelled three times since it began in the 1880s – Queen Victoria’s death & the two world wars.
Oniya Fire Festival - Fukuoka, Japan – the 1600 year-old festival takes place on January 7th to drive away evil spirits
Burning Man Festival – Black Rock Desert USA – the world’s biggest fire festival with over 50K attendees each year and still growing. Primarily an arts festival, dynamic structures involving fire are just a part of the week-long festival which takes place at the end of August.
Falles – Valencia, Spain – a 5-day festival in March which sees daily firework displays and, on the final day, giant, firework packed sculptures are set fire.
Walpurgis Night – throughout Europe – the 30th April is the eve of the feast day of Saint Walpurga and also believed to be the witches night. Throughout Germany, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland and many other countries, celebrations that include fire in some form take place.
Sadeh – Iran – a festival linked to the Zoroastrian religion and celebrating the creation of fire taking place in January. Celebrations include processions through the streets to light a massive bonfire.
Burning of The Devil – Guatemala – a festival which began in colonial times and involves the burning of an effigy of the Devil on 7th December to make way for the forthcoming feast of Mary.
Diwali – India - is a popular Hindu festival, also known as the 'festival of lights'. It is celebrated during the autumn/winter season, depending on the Hindu calendar. Diwali signifies the victory of light over darkness and involves lighting of diyas (small lamps) and bursting crackers.
Guy Fawkes Night – UK – 5th November is, of course, Bonfire Night across Britain where effigies of Guy Fawkes are burnt on bonfires as well as fireworks being set off.
Nozawa Fire Festival – Japan - one of three famous fire festivals held in Japan, the Nozawa Fire Festival takes place every year on January 15th. To ensure the healthy growth of its first borns, a massive tower is erected and villagers, with torches in their hands, run to burn the tower.
Jeongwol Daeboreum – South Korea - this fire festival takes place on the first full moon of the lunar year. A wooden structure called the Daljip is built on a hilltop and then set fire to.