Baby Jumping Festival, “El Colacho,” – Spain.

Nestled in the heart of Spain, the village of Castrillo de Murcia hosts an unusual and somewhat controversial annual event known as “El Colacho,” or the Baby Jumping Festival. This peculiar tradition, which dates back to 1620, has become one of the most striking examples of the country’s diverse cultural heritage.

History and Significance

The Baby Jumping Festival takes place every year in early June, coinciding with the religious feast of Corpus Christi. The event represents a collision of Catholic and pagan rituals and traditions. Its origin lies in an ancient ritual intended to cleanse newborns of original sin, ward off evil spirits, and ensure safe passage through life.

The Festival

The festival is a week-long celebration comprising various religious and cultural events, including processions, music, and traditional dances. However, the highlight is undoubtedly the act of ‘El Salto del Colacho’ (the Devil’s Jump).

Men dressed as the devil, known as ‘Colachos,’ run and leap over infants born during the previous year. These babies are carefully laid out on mattresses in the middle of the town’s streets. The ‘

Colachos’ leap is believed to cleanse the babies of original sin and guard them against ailments and evil spirits. The spectacle draws crowds of locals and tourists eager to witness this unique tradition, and it is accompanied by traditional music and festivities that lend a jubilant atmosphere to the day.

Despite the apparent risks involved, there are no recorded incidents of injuries to the babies during the festival’s history. The ritual is carried out with extreme care, and the babies are watched over closely by their parents and the local community.

How to Get There Internationally

The village of Castrillo de Murcia is situated in the Burgos province of Spain.

By Air: The closest major airport is Madrid’s Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport. You can then take a train or bus to Burgos.

By Train: Spain’s extensive rail network makes it easy to get to Burgos from other major cities in the country. High-speed AVE trains operate from Madrid and Barcelona.

By Bus: Burgos is well-served by bus routes from across Spain. The bus station is in the city center.

By Car: The town is easily accessible by car, with well-maintained roads connecting it to major cities.

Once in Burgos, you can reach Castrillo de Murcia by taxi or bus.

Though the Baby Jumping Festival may seem unconventional and even alarming to outsiders, it is a centuries-old tradition for the people of Castrillo de Murcia. It’s a vivid example of the rich and diverse tapestry of customs that define Spain’s cultural heritage. This festival, like any other, represents a community’s shared values and beliefs, all wrapped up in a spectacle that continues to captivate and intrigue the world.