'Luminarias' -- a fiery tradition

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'Luminarias' -- a fiery tradition
A horseman jumps over a bonfire during the celebrations of the traditional religious festival 'Luminarias' in honour of San Antonio Abad -- patron saint of animals -- in Alosno, Huelva, Spain, on January 16, 2015. AFP PHOTO/ CRISTINA QUICLER (Photo credit should read CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP/Getty Images)
A horseman jumps over a bonfire in the Spanish central village of San Bartolome de Pinares in the province of Avila, Castile and Leon, Spain, during the opening of the traditional religious festival 'Luminarias' in honour of San Antonio Abad (Saint Anthony) -- patron saint of animals -- on January 16, 2015. AFP PHOTO / Pedro ARMESTRE (Photo credit should read PEDRO ARMESTRE/AFP/Getty Images)
A horseman jumps over a bonfire during the celebrations of the traditional religious festival 'Luminarias' in honour of San Antonio Abad -- patron saint of animals -- in Alosno, Huelva, Spain, on January 16, 2015. AFP PHOTO/ CRISTINA QUICLER (Photo credit should read CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP/Getty Images)
A horseman jumps over a bonfire in the Spanish central village of San Bartolome de Pinares in the province of Avila, Castile and Leon, Spain, during the opening of the traditional religious festival 'Luminarias' in honour of San Antonio Abad (Saint Anthony) -- patron saint of animals -- on January 16, 2015. AFP PHOTO / Pedro ARMESTRE (Photo credit should read PEDRO ARMESTRE/AFP/Getty Images)
Horsemen gather before jumping over a bonfire in the Spanish central village of San Bartolome de Pinares in the province of Avila, Castile and Leon, Spain, to open the celebrations of the traditional religious festival 'Luminarias' in honour of San Antonio Abad (Saint Anthony) -- patron saint of animals -- on January 16, 2015. AFP PHOTO / Pedro ARMESTRE (Photo credit should read PEDRO ARMESTRE/AFP/Getty Images)
A horseman jumps over a bonfire during the celebrations of the traditional religious festival 'Luminarias' in honour of San Antonio Abad -- patron saint of animals -- in Alosno, Huelva, Spain, on January 16, 2015. AFP PHOTO/ CRISTINA QUICLER (Photo credit should read CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP/Getty Images)
A horseman drinks wine before jumping over a bonfire in the Spanish central village of San Bartolome de Pinares in the province of Avila, Castile and Leon, Spain, during the opening of the traditional religious festival 'Luminarias' in honour of San Antonio Abad (Saint Anthony) -- patron saint of animals -- on January 16, 2015. AFP PHOTO / Pedro ARMESTRE (Photo credit should read PEDRO ARMESTRE/AFP/Getty Images)
A horseman jumps over a bonfire during the celebrations of the traditional religious festival 'Luminarias' in honour of San Antonio Abad -- patron saint of animals -- in Alosno, Huelva, Spain, on January 16, 2015. AFP PHOTO/ CRISTINA QUICLER (Photo credit should read CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP/Getty Images)
A horseman jumps over a bonfire in the Spanish central village of San Bartolome de Pinares in the province of Avila, Castile and Leon, Spain, during the opening of the traditional religious festival 'Luminarias' in honour of San Antonio Abad (Saint Anthony) -- patron saint of animals -- on January 16, 2015. AFP PHOTO / Pedro ARMESTRE (Photo credit should read PEDRO ARMESTRE/AFP/Getty Images)
A horseman jumps over a bonfire in the Spanish central village of San Bartolome de Pinares in the province of Avila, Castile and Leon, Spain, during the opening of the traditional religious festival 'Luminarias' in honour of San Antonio Abad (Saint Anthony) -- patron saint of animals -- on January 16, 2015. AFP PHOTO / Pedro ARMESTRE (Photo credit should read PEDRO ARMESTRE/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman makes braids to her horse before jumping over a bonfire in the Spanish central village of San Bartolome de Pinares in the province of Avila, Castile and Leon, Spain, during the opening of the traditional religious festival 'Luminarias' in honour of San Antonio Abad (Saint Anthony) -- patron saint of animals -- on January 16, 2015. AFP PHOTO / Pedro ARMESTRE (Photo credit should read PEDRO ARMESTRE/AFP/Getty Images)
A horseman jumps over a bonfire during the celebrations of the traditional religious festival 'Luminarias' in honour of San Antonio Abad -- patron saint of animals -- in Alosno, Huelva, Spain, on January 16, 2015. AFP PHOTO/ CRISTINA QUICLER (Photo credit should read CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP/Getty Images)
A horseman jumps over a bonfire in the Spanish central village of San Bartolome de Pinares in the province of Avila, Castile and Leon, Spain, during the opening of the traditional religious festival 'Luminarias' in honour of San Antonio Abad (Saint Anthony) -- patron saint of animals -- on January 16, 2015. AFP PHOTO / Pedro ARMESTRE (Photo credit should read PEDRO ARMESTRE/AFP/Getty Images)
Horsemen walk around a bonfire in the Spanish central village of San Bartolome de Pinares in the province of Avila, Castile and Leon, Spain, during the opening of the traditional religious festival 'Luminarias' in honour of San Antonio Abad (Saint Anthony) -- patron saint of animals -- on January 16, 2015. AFP PHOTO / Pedro ARMESTRE (Photo credit should read PEDRO ARMESTRE/AFP/Getty Images)
A boy on a horse jumps over a bonfire during the celebrations of the traditional religious festival 'Luminarias' in honour of San Antonio Abad -- patron saint of animals -- in Alosno, Huelva, Spain, on January 16, 2015. AFP PHOTO/ CRISTINA QUICLER (Photo credit should read CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP/Getty Images)
A horseman jumps over a bonfire in the Spanish central village of San Bartolome de Pinares in the province of Avila, Castile and Leon, Spain, during the opening of the traditional religious festival 'Luminarias' in honour of San Antonio Abad (Saint Anthony) -- patron saint of animals -- on January 16, 2015. AFP PHOTO / Pedro ARMESTRE (Photo credit should read PEDRO ARMESTRE/AFP/Getty Images)
A boy on a horse jumps over a bonfire during the celebrations of the religious traditional festival 'Luminarias' in honour of San Antonio Abad -- patron saint of animals -- in Alosno, Huelva, Spain, on January 16, 2015. AFP PHOTO/ CRISTINA QUICLER (Photo credit should read CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP/Getty Images)
A horseman jumps over a bonfire in the Spanish central village of San Bartolome de Pinares in the province of Avila, Castile and Leon, Spain, during the opening of the traditional religious festival 'Luminarias' in honour of San Antonio Abad (Saint Anthony) -- patron saint of animals -- on January 16, 2015. AFP PHOTO / Pedro ARMESTRE (Photo credit should read PEDRO ARMESTRE/AFP/Getty Images)
A horseman jumps over a bonfire in the Spanish central village of San Bartolome de Pinares in the province of Avila, Castile and Leon, Spain, during the opening of the traditional religious festival 'Luminarias' in honour of San Antonio Abad (Saint Anthony) -- patron saint of animals -- on January 16, 2015. AFP PHOTO / Pedro ARMESTRE (Photo credit should read PEDRO ARMESTRE/AFP/Getty Images)
Horsemen walk around a bonfire in the Spanish central village of San Bartolome de Pinares in the province of Avila, Castile and Leon, Spain, during the opening of the traditional religious festival 'Luminarias' in honour of San Antonio Abad (Saint Anthony) -- patron saint of animals -- on January 16, 2015. AFP PHOTO / Pedro ARMESTRE (Photo credit should read PEDRO ARMESTRE/AFP/Getty Images)
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What seems to be smoldering special effects in an action-packed movie is in actuality -- an annual religious celebration.

On the night before the festival of Saint Anthony, Spanish villagers observe the patron saint of animals by riding their horses through the narrow streets set ablaze in the small town of San Bartolome de los Pinares to purify and protect their steeds with the smoke from the flames.

The long-established tradition known as 'Luminarias' dates back 500 years. And while the custom's origin remains unknown, many presume it was introduced as a way to help ailing animals.

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