El Colacho: witness the baby-jumping festival of Burgos, Spain

Location: Castrillo de Murcia, Burgos, Spain

Date: the first Sunday after Corpus Christi.

El Colacho El Colacho

This bizarre Spanish festival is becoming the most popular one in the market of European festivals. This little-known ritual started in Castilla y León, a tiny province in northwestern Spain in 1620. Adults tricked out in red and yellow costumes, representing the devil, with whips and truncheons in hands, leap over babies as a mean of leading away diabolical evils and cleanse the babies’ souls.

Only one-year-old babies can profit by this spiritual vacuum cleaning ceremony. As a result, the local parents are eager to join in a line waiting for the ritual, despite of the devil incarnate will jump over their baby and a crowd of audiences nearby. This Spanish Inquisition treatment does not only aim at the babies but also adults. Santísimo Sacramento, the mysterious de Minerva brotherhood, uses this whip-cracking nasty to keep the native residents in order.

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