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What the devil? Bizarre baby jumping festival

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What the devil? Bizarre baby jumping festival
A man dressed as a devil leaps over babies. Photo: Cesar Manso / AFP.
15:56 CEST+02:00
The northern Spanish town of Castrillo de Murcia, near Burgos, kicked off the 400-year-old 'El Colacho' baby jumping festival on Sunday, in a tradition designed to rid the infants of original sin.

Since 1620, men in Castrillo de Murcia have been dressing up in red and yellow to look like the devil and leap over groups of unsuspecting infants.

Known as 'El Salto del Colacho', the jump of the devil, the tradition started as a celebration of the Catholic feast of Corpus Christi, but also has elements of paganism. It is thought to be a way to rid the babies of evil spirits and original sin.

Tiny tots born within the last year lay on mattresses in the street while the Colacho springs over their heads carrying whips and over-sized castanets. People say that when the 'devil' jumps over the babies, original sin sticks to him rather than them.

This year, 'el colacho' jumped over about 100 little ones and more than 3,000 people attended the fiesta, according to local newspaper Burgos Conecta.

During the weeklong-festivities organized by the Brotherhood of Santísimo Sacramento de Minerva, people will taunt the Colacho as he walks through the streets until he chases after them with his whip.

GALLERY: What the devil? Spain's bizarre baby jumping fiesta

Photo: Cesar Manso / AFP.

 
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