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Reuters/Sergio Perez

"It is really a pagan tradition. With the smoke and the fire the animals are blessed so they will be purified for the whole year and won't get hurt or ill," said Anibal Martinez, who returned to his home town for the night's festivities.

According to tradition, people from the area ride their horses through the fire to purify the animals

The amazing festival where they celebrate the patron saint of animals. by riding horses through FIRE

Image from http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/01/17/article-0-0CCB3A44000005DC-603_634x774.jpg.

A man rides his horse through flames during the “Luminarias” religious celebration on the eve of Saint Anthony’s Day in the village of San Bartolome de los Pinares, Spain

Rider on the firestorm

Rein of fire: Spanish villagers are hot to trot in flame-jumping festival

A horse and his rider jump over a bonfire at San Bartolome de Pinares in Avila, Spain. / that poor horse. I'd like to see it ride the human and maybe his eyes will look like this horse/.