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El Colacho Baby Jumping Festival in Spain

El Colacho Baby Jumping Festival is an annual festive event practiced in the heart-stopping display; during this festive event, newborn babies are usually laid down on the mattresses along the street while males in certain jump over them. According to Spanish culture and practices, they typically believe that, during this ceremony, the devil usually absorbs the sins of the newborn and affords the newborn protection against infections and misfortune. The event usually happens in mid-June, and according to the Spanish community, they typically believe that the devil runs wild in the Spanish village of Castrillo de Murcia. The El Colacho festival dates back to the early 1620s, and a blend of catholic and pagans carried it out to present the triumph of good over evil after the Corpus Christ feast. It is believed to have started as a fertility ritual; however, its origin is unclear. After the men in costumes are done leaping over the babies, they are later laid sprinkled with rose flowers as the parents promptly claim them back. I chose El Colacho Baby Jumping Festival in Spain to represent how Spanish festive expose their participants to safety risks because it is among the most common festivals in Spain. Most of the festive period is characterized by overcrowding as individuals usually gang up around the cities and the country’s local areas to celebrate together (Galván, 2014).

El Colacho Baby Jumping Festival has been one of the most dangerous festivals globally as it involves jumping over the new babies, and it has been celebrated in Spain for the last four hundred years. The festive has been extremely shocking as the men in costumes leap over the babies in the streets, exposing them to a high risk of being stepped on. The events usually start as a normal Spanish festive where the road is adorned with lovely things and some Spanish flags. The mass is celebrated as there is procession massive procession from the church. Brothers from the Santisimo, Sacramento de Minerva, dress as the devil and his companion. After the end of the mass, there is a start of the breadth taking stunt, and then babies less than a year are laid down on the mattress, which is spread along the street. Later on, men dressed in costumes as El Colacho and El Atabalero usually come out running towards the babies on the mattress. They start jumping over the babies continuously, thereby believing that they have driven away from the church and cities and the newborn. Continuous jumping over the babies along the street has been considered the most dangerous part of the festival as men might unluckily befall the newborns, apart from the possibilities of the babies’ exposure to harm but also death.

Besides, the cultural and creative sectors have been more significant as far as the personal rights and the Spanish festival economic footprint are concerned. Once the time for jumping comes, the traditions have it that all newborns within the town of Castillo de Murcia are presented on the mattress along the street, as discussed above. Jumping over the babies by the Colacho-representing the devil-jumps over the newborn as the participant usually cheer on them. This festival has been practiced in local towns of Spain, later spreading to bigger and another Spanish town thereby becoming a tradition of the Spanish. According, to the customs and Spanish culture practice, the festival is believed to be carried to cleanse the infants from the original sins, to which all the Christians believes to have originated from our core parent, i.e., Adam and Eve, because of disobedience to the God in the garden of Eden. Nevertheless, the event is being taken as a festivity that belongs to the local heritage of the local town ( Ortega, 2016).

Despite the religious foundations, the highest catholic authorities have condemned El- Colacho festivity as there is believed that the tradition has been against the catholic beliefs. Besides, the head of the Catholic leaders has ordered priests from the local region to distance themselves from the practice do not conform to the Catholic traditions and practices. There are many places where newborns are welcomed within an areligious community, and the original sin is pardoned through baptism rituals. Contrary to the El Colacho Baby Jumping Festival in Spain, baptism does not expose the newborn to the danger of harm or loss of the lives. Therefore, here the priest runs water of the infant’s head. Some catholic members seem to be orthodox about El Colacho Baby Jumping Festival in Spain there they rather wish to disappear.

Although the controversy of the traditional and cultural practice of the Spanish, the town of the Castrillo de Murcia continues with a celebration of the Salto del Colacho on an annual basis; therefore, despite massive debate against the dangerous festive practices, the event seems to be deep-rooted in most of the occupants of the city. Consequently, it appears that the traditions have survived since the early 1600s hence unlikely to be extinct any soon. Most of the individuals from the town of the Colacho are traditional die-hard, and they are have completely resisted conforming to the changes more regarding the baby jumping culture.


Galván, J. A. (Ed.). (2014). They Do What? A Cultural Encyclopedia of Extraordinary and Exotic Customs from around the World: A Cultural Encyclopedia of Extraordinary and Exotic Customs. ABC-CLIO.

Ortega Valbuena, J. H. (2016). Estudio analítico de estructuras melódicas del paseo vallenato interpretado por 7 ganadores del Festival de la Leyenda Vallenata: Colacho Mendoza, Luis Enrique Martínez, Alfredo Gutiérrez, Cocha Molina, Julián Rojas, Hugo Carlos Granados y Sergio Luis Rodríguez.


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