World Music Celebrations: Baby Jumping In Spain

May 31, 2013

Each week on World Music (Saturday nights from 8-10 on KSTX 89.1 FM), I take a look at celebrations happening around the world. This week -- bebés, tenga cuidado.


One of the strangest festivals in Spain takes place in the village of Castrillo de Murcia. Loosely connected with the Feast of Corpus Christi, the idea of the El Colacho Festival is to remove original sin from babies up to a year old. Apparently baptism does not quite do the job effectively, so since the 1600s, men dressed as devils will jump over the unsuspecting babes. The infants, dressed to the nines, are placed on foam mattresses along a processional route. The gaudily dressed devil takes off at a jogging pace and deftly and nimbly clears each row of gurgling babes. Has anyone--or rather, has any child, been injured in this truly bizarre activity? To date the answer is no, but they are all well and truly cleansed of original sin.

You can hear more about this and other celebrations happening around the world every Saturday night on World Music with Deirdre Saravia, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. on KSTX 89.1 FM.