El Colacho (Baby Jumping Festival)

  • What: El Colacho (Baby Jumping Festival)
  • Where: Castrillo de Murcia, SPAIN
  • When: June
  • Price: Your newborn’s soul

El Colacho is a festival which takes place every year in June, the Sunday after the celebration of Corpus Christi (usually mid-June). During this day, in the village of Castrillo de Murcia, devils run free in the streets and jump over children. Great choice if you’re tired of your typical Sunday.

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El Colacho is a tradition that dates back from the 1620’s. The celebration lasts a few days, organized by The Brotherhood of Santísimo Sacramento de Minerva. You can see men dressed as devils, wearing red and yellow suits and masks, chasing people around with whips and insulting them just for fun. The most important day is Sunday, when those men jump over children to cleanse them of the original sin.

Babies born the year before are comfortably set on mattresses in the middle of the street, unaware of the possibility that their little round faces might get crushed by brand new expensive sneakers (devils wear Prada, or so they say). Jumping over those babies is referred to as “El Salto del Colacho” or “the devil’s jump”. As we said before, the jump is supposed to cleanse the babies of the original sin and also to protect them from diseases.

Even though it looks a little bit dangerous, officially, there’s never been any accident since 1621. Pope Benedict XVI had asked Spanish priests to stop participating but it didn’t work. After the “jump”, the archbishop of Burgos baptizes the babies with holy water.

If you’re visiting Spain, if you’re a fan of hurdles or if you’re baby-sitting terrible children, this festival is for you.

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