Tultepec has some crazy firework traditions, and that’s no bull!
Tultepec, a municipality near Mexico City, has been long linked to the country’s pyrotechnic industry. Some estimate that over half the population is involved in the firework business, making more than 80-percent of the Mexico’s fireworks. Over the last 150 to 200 years, much progress in the industry has come from pioneers living in this region. Structure of firework sets were improved at the end of the 19th century by Austín, Miguel and Gregorio Fiesco. In the 1920s, the colors of red and yellow in fireworks were created by Felipe Reyes. Around the same time, Guadalupe Flores, developed star fireworks and sparklers and a few types of rockets. There are many more contributions from this area too numerous to mention.
Since 1989, the town of Tultepec throws a week long firework festival every year with competitions between various pyrotechnic manufacturers. Additionally, the town honors its patron saint, San Juan de Dios, who is also the patron saint of firework makers and firefighters. Part of the lore is that San Juan recued children from a burning building and miraculously escaped without any burns on his skin
One of the most interesting and crazy events of the festival is the Burning of the Bulls. Townspeople build paper mache bulls, paint them colorfully and stuff them with loads of fireworks. Then when night falls, the bulls are light and fireworks come streaming out all over the place while daring young men jump around dancing and dodging the sparks. Check out this video which shows all the crazy action! But be warned, while it’s fun to shoot off fireworks at home, unless you are keeping a safe distance, this type of activity is actually quite dangerous.