Each year, young revelers torch hundreds of empty, parked cars, with this year’s toll reaching 1,193 vehicles burned, according to Interior Minister Manuel Valls.

It’s for the first time in three years that such figures have been released by the ministry as the former conservative government of Nicolas Sarkozy stopped publishing them to prevent competition among car-torching youths. On December 31, 2009, the last public figure available, 1,147 cars were burned.

Usual car fires happen in France during the year for many reasons, including criminals hiding clues of their crimes and people making false insurance claims. However, the unusual phenomenon started when car-torching became a way to mark the arrival of the New Year.


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What Are They Thinking? French Revelers Torch Nearly 1200 Cars On New Years Eve

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