Meet the bizarre Spanish ritual performed to purify babies
Once a year, during the Corpus Christi holiday, the population of a Spanish village called Castrillo de Murcia gathers for a somewhat bizarre ritual. It's El Colacho. This festival tends to terrify tourists and visitors, but it is already well known to the locals and has been happening for so long that it is impossible to tell.
And why is he so scary? During the festivities, men often dress in very strange costumes, bright yellows, and face masks of the devil. Then they go out into the crowd, whipping the spectators and scaring people with grotesque shouts and dances. But the main attraction is yet to come.
The purification of the little ones
Parents usually bring their children under one year old to be purified in this ritual. They lay their babies, four by four, lying on pillows in the middle of the street, and these demon-clad men run down the road, jumping over the blocks formed by the children to purify them from all the evil in the world.
After the little ones are cleansed and free from man's original sin, they are applauded and the spectators throw rose petals on them. Only after that can parents - most of them scared out - get their children and take them home (or continue to attend the festivities if they wish).
Right or wrong?
No resident of Castrillo de Murcia or any historian can give a precise date as to the origin of this ritual, but it is estimated that it arose around the early 1600s. The oldest say the festival has been going on since it was born and there is no such thing. no document that can prove these years.
There are also no reports of babies killed or injured during the ritual - if it happened, it is very well hidden. In any case, the practice is condemned by the Catholic Church, and Pope Benedict once asked the Spanish people to distance themselves from it all. It was no use. The leap over children happens every year, whether the clergy want it or not.