Andorra impressed by Stoney fireballs

The Stonehaven fireballs caught the eye in Andorra
The Stonehaven fireballs caught the eye in Andorra

Stonehaven’s fireball swingers have found unlikely counterparts - in Andorra.

The small principality between France and Spain hosts a similar festival but during the summer.

Later this month three representatives from Stonehaven Fireballs Association have been invited to share in the Andorran experience.

And a return visit by their hosts for the New Year ceremony in Stonehaven is a possibility.

Fireball swingers in Andorra had seen the local ceremony online and decided to get in contact.

Stonehaven committee member Martin Sim, who will be accompanied on the trip by Raymond Penny and Jean Houghton, said: “We got an email from them last December to say that they had seen our website and wanted to have some communication.

“They gave us their website details and there would certainly seem to be similarities between our two communities because of what we do.

“I replied to the email and there has been a lot of communication since then. They seem to be keen to form some sort of link.

“The enthusiasm coming from their side was quite significant.”

The Andorran fire festival is held in June and the Stonehaven group will spend four days there with the event itself on June 23.

Martin, a former fireball committee chairman, added: “There seem to be different parts to the festival and I think it happens late in the day.

“It’s not just fireballs but sticks with fire - a bit like the torches that they use at Up Helly Aa.

“We are very much looking forward to the trip and it is exciting to be sharing in their celebrations.

“They did invite us to take part but I felt we couldn’t offer them the same opportunity in Stonehaven as the spaces we have are taken up by local folk.”

A reciprocal visit has not yet been finalised but discussions will take place during the group’s visit.