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El Colacho 2024

A man dressed as a devil jumps over the babies to cleanse them of the original sin

Dates: June 2, 2024

El Colacho
El Colacho
El Colacho

If you have a newborn baby, you can bring it to Castrillo de Murcia near Burgos and take part in this unusual festival that dates back to 1620.

Festival Highlights

The Colacho festival is a centuries-old tradition with deep popular roots dating back to the 17th century. Held on the Sunday following Corpus Christi, this vibrant event has been celebrated uninterruptedly to this day. The festival features the Colacho, a grotesque character dressed in a colorful costume and mask, who represents the devil.

The most important day of the festival is Sunday, when the grand procession takes place. Villagers decorate their homes with their finest decorations to welcome the procession. At certain houses, altars are set up where the procession pauses to bless water and wine. In front of these altars, mattresses are laid out on which the babies born that year in Castrillo de Murcia are placed just before the procession arrives.

Baby Jumping Tradition

The culmination of this Spanish Catholic tradition comes when men dressed in bright yellow and red costumes, known as Devils, jump over the babies who lie on mattresses right on the street. The babies have to be born in the previous twelve months to participate in this ritual, which is supposed to purify them from the original sin. Apart from colorful costumes, the Devils have whips and castanets, which they use to conduct mock attacks on the crowds, watching the unusual and somewhat scary spectacle.

Post-Procession Celebration

The procession starts at the town church, located at the highest point of the village, and winds its way through the streets before returning to the church. After the procession, everyone gathers at "las eras," where a traditional Castilian dance group entertains the crowd. Сelebration concludes with the communal sharing of wine, bread, and local cheese.

El Colacho Dates

Baby jumping or El Colacho takes place on the first Sunday after Corpus Christi. This year, it will be on June 2.

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Last updated:
Authors: Mariia Myshok