San Pedro Manrique
Paso del Fuego (fire walking) and Las Móndidas festival
Fire walk. The Móndidas (San Pedro Manrique; Soria)
Of unknown origins. It is said that only local townsfolk can complete the walk without being burned.
Each year on 23 June, Midsummer night's eve, this ritual takes place in the town of San Pedro Manrique, in Soria. It consists of crossing the live coals of a meticulously prepared bonfire barefoot. The bonfire is lit at 9:00 at night with 2,000 kilos of oak wood, which burns easily and does not form lumps. At around 11:30, the carpet-like path of red-hot coals is prepared by smoothing them with poles called 'hoguneros'. Young men dance around the fire, and exactly at midnight everything is ready to begin the walk across the carpet. Ten to twelve young men are chosen to do this, and they generally carry someone on their shoulders, since the extra weight avoids combustion. They try to ensure that the coals contain no ashes or hard objects; thanks to these precautions they never get burned. Women dressed in white (called "móndidas"), carrying wicker baskets and long breadsticks ("arbujuelos"), walk in a procession. One of them, the most important one, offers the first "arbujuelo" to the priest. According to some, these women represent ancient Celtiberian priestesses.
- San Pedro Manrique (Soria. Castile-Leon)