Jumping over babies, a village tradition

Jumping over the babies Credit: Noa Serna CC

There are so many pretty little villages in Spain with a long history and one of them, Castrillo de Murcia, is first mentioned in a document dated 1029.

At that time it was known as Castrillo de Muza, but time saw its name changed and it is now a suburb of the municipality of Sasamon in Burgos.

Village with an unusual tradition

There are plenty of attractive old buildings but that’s not why it is so well known as the time to visit is the first Sunday after the Feast of Corpus Christi which this year will be June 2 as Easter was so early.

People from all over the region flock to the town for the celebration known as the Salto del Colacho which dates back to 1621 and combines both Christian and Pagan elements as it celebrates the victory of good over evil in a most bizarre and unexpected way.

The day starts relatively normally as the Parish Priest parades the Eucharist around the town and blesses children who were born locally during the previous 12 months but it is then that it takes what some might consider a more sinister turn of events.

The Colacho arrives

A man, dressed in red and yellow, recognised as the Colacho who represents the devil, runs through the streets hitting members of the crowd with a horse hair whip and in return they hurl insults at him.

Arrival of the Colacho
Credit: Motta W CC

In the meantime, the mothers of the children who have been blessed have laid them out in the middle of the street on pillows and cushions just in time for the Colacho to arrive and literally leap over the children in order to dispel bad spirits and ensure that they enjoy good health.

Large crowds throng the Street
Credit: Celestebombin CC

Jumping over the babies

Once this has been completed the children have flowers strewn over them before being collected by their mothers as the onlookers watch the Colacho flee., hopefully after he managed not to land on any babies.

Once the ceremony is completed, as is often the case with Spanish traditions, it’s time for everyone to get together and party whilst the events can be recalled during the year through the statues erected in the street.

Statues in Castrillo de Murcia
Credit: Sasamon Council

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Written by

John Smith

Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica. Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene. Currently he is acting as Editorial Consultant for the paper helping to shape its future development. Share your story with us by emailing newsdesk@euroweeklynews.com, by calling +34 951 38 61 61 or by messaging our Facebook page www.facebook.com/EuroWeeklyNews


    • Anthony Power

      06 March 2024 • 15:09

      Another stupid tradition!

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