Today is São João here in Brazil - St John´s Day. I suppose it is similar to Guy Fawkes in that there are bonfires, fireworks and traditional food. There are lots of parties with dancing to accordion music and sometimes a peasant wedding is enacted. Dress usually involves checked shirts, dungarees and straw hats. The festivities are called June parties and last the whole month. The origin is tied up with pagan summer solstice celebrations, taken up by the Catholic Church and brought to Brazil by the Portuguese. It is all great fun with a nice family atmosphere.
Part of the tradition was to release fire balloons, when I was a child you could even buy small ones to send up yourself and people would also make large ones which could be very elaborate. There were so many that at night the sky would appear to be full of moving stars.They used to drift down when the wick eventually burnt out and were chased by gangs of neighbourhood children (myself included!) because sometimes there were little prizes or even money dangling from the balloon on bits of string. Since they were made of paper, some of the balloons would catch fire especially if it was windy and a fireball would come plummeting down, not always harmlessly. Eventually the government woke up to the fact they were a fire hazard and balloons were banned, but even today you can occasionally see an illegal one flying, despite the heavy fine imposed if the culprit who released it is caught.
Photo by Ben Wicks at Unsplash