Life is a Blast!
Whirling, whistling, popping, and throwing sparks in every direction…it’s a Castillo, the most spectacular of Mexican fireworks!
During December’s Fiesta de la Virgen de Guadalupe in Oaxaca, we experienced our first Castillo, which is a wooden tower 30-70 feet high, covered with handmade fireworks laid out in precise designs, raised and held in place by ropes.
Before the Castillo fuses are lit, young men take turns dancing around holding a torito (little bull). The torito is made of paper maché and has a wooden framework on top that is covered with, guess what…fireworks! He dips and twirls, intentionally spraying the crowd with sparks. They love it!
A band plays, excitement builds as the crowd gathers in front of the Castillo. A match is lit. Wheels of color twirl faster and faster, and sparks fly into the air. As the fire climbs higher, brilliant pictures of animals, saints, stars, flowers, or whatever popped into the imagination of the creator are painted with fireworks.
More spinners whirl, finally igniting the topmost wheel, which spins off into the sky like a flying saucer. It’s magical!