No babies were harmed in the making of this fiesta

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BABY LINE: ‘Devils’ jump over the infants.


FROM the early 1600s, every year during the feast of Corpus Christi, the small Spanish town of Castrillo de Murcia in Burgos is where babies lay in the street as devils jump over them.
But don’t worry, it’s not as horrific as it sounds.
You could say there are some strange fiesta traditions here in Spain, from tomato throwing to snail eating, from guzzling grapes to being carried in your own coffin. But none seems as strange to the unsuspecting visitor as the Burgos ‘baby jumping’ fiesta.
Strange to say the least, but yes you read that correctly. During the feast of Corpus Christi – this week – all the town’s babies that were born within the previous 12 months, are taken out to the streets where they take pride of place in the Baby Jumping Festival of El Colacho.
Mattresses are laid end to end with the babies carefully positioned in a line, (doting mothers close to hand, take note!). Then, local men dressed as devils in red and yellow suits proceed to jump across the baby line.
The idea behind this weird festival is to cleanse the babies of original sin, ensure them safe passage through life and guard against illness and evil spirits. The event, organised by the Brotherhood of Santísimo Sacramento de Minerva has unknown origins, but is believed to be a kind of baptism.
Although there are injuries every year, thankfully, it’s only the devils doing the jumping who seem to hurt themselves.
And as they state: ‘No babies were harmed in the making of this fiesta!’

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