El Colacho

This rather strange little festival takes place around Corpus Christi in the village of Castrillo de Murcia, near Burgos.

The festival dates back to 1620 and involves men dressed as the Devil (Colacho) jumping over babies born during the past 12 months. The babies are placed on mattresses in the street and El Salto del Colacho (Devil’s jump) begins.

This rather strange, and dangerous ritual, is said to cleanse the babies of original sin and provide them with good health and fortune throughout their lives. It is, as stated earlier, a bit on the dangerous side and injuries are not unknown. It is, in fact, rated amongst the most dangerous festivals in the world.

In addition to the jumping over babies, there are the more traditional processions, firework displays and general merrymaking.

The Catholic Church tends to distance itself from the festival, for obvious reasons.