El Colacho, the Baby Jumping Festival in Spain Murcia

The baby jumping ‘’El Colacho’’ is an international festival in Spain,  organized annually in Castrillo de Murcia, Burgos province, are a mix of Spanish tradition and a religious ceremony. The festival is a part of the Catholic holiday Corpus Christi celebrations.


The history of El Colacho:

Baby jumping ‘’El Colacho’’ is a traditional Spanish holiday, No concrete origin for the bizarre ritual exists but it dates back to 1620 the Catholic Brotherhood of the Sacred Sacrament of Minerva has been responsible to arrange the week-long commemorations which take place to mark the Corpus Christi feast. Whose members assume the two major roles related with the festival are the ‘’El Colacho’’ and ‘’El Atabalero’’.

El Colacho, the Baby Jumping Festival in Spain Murcia

El Colacho: a man dressed in a yellow, red and green suit represents the Devil. Jump over babies born during the preceding twelve months of the year who lie on mattresses in the street. He holds an oversized castanet and a lash made of horse´s or cow´s tail as he jumps over the infant children.

El Atabalero:  the drummer wears a black suit and a sombrero he presides over the Santísimo procession which goes into the town with his large drum.

The Brotherhood of Santísimo Sacramento de Minerva organizes the week-long festivities which climax on Sunday when the Colacho jumps over the babies on the mattresses placed on the parade route pass over the town.

In addition, the purpose of the tradition is to purify the babies of original sin, secure them safe passage through life and protect them against illness and evil spirits.


How is it celebrated?

The major events of these Corpus celebrations are the Baby Jumping and the Runs of the Colacho. Moreover, during the festival, the ‘’El Colacho’’ emerges accompanied by the “Atabalero” (drummer) and some members of the brotherhood of Santísimo Sacramento de Minerva, who guide and arrange the festival, besides, They parade through the streets of the village, while the Colacho pursues and whips with his tail to anyone who offends or makes fun of him.

The ‘’El Colacho’’ festival organizes plenty of activities around the town, usually arranges in one of three places: the town square, the church, or the main looping circular promenade. In addition, the festival goers should be prepared as the first activity, called “run” when El Colacho, a drummer and a group of undertakers saunter through town as the devil tries to whip those on the route.

Once the Baby Jumping has been completed, everyone goes around the wine cellars. The party continues with folklore and typical products such as cheese and wine.

In brief, the festival is an international tradition included babies from around the world came to take part in the ‘’El Colacho’’ festival believing in the devil absorbs the sins of the babies and protect them from diseases and misfortune.

Images Sources: MetroRipleys