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El-Colacho Festival: A Baptism Of Babies

There are so many cultures and festivals in the world. Some of them have been practiced for so long that people cannot tell when it started and the rationale behind it while others date back to centuries.

One such festival is the El Colacho baby jumping festival in Spain. This festival is held annually in mid-June. In this festival, some men dress in yellow and red suits hold whips and run through the village flogging people and sometimes saying insulting things to them.


After then, babies born during the year are laid down on mattresses in the street and these men jump over the babies.

El-Colacho baby jumping festival. Photo: National Geographic

Jumping over the babies signify a ritual bath or baptism which will free them from original sins. They believe that the evil has absorbed the sins of the babies and hence saved them from bad luck and diseases.
After the babies have been jumped over, rose petals are sprinkled on them and they are then taken away by their parents.

Babies crying on the mattress at El-Colacho baby jumping festival

This festival dates back to the 15th century, in 1620 and is celebrated during the feast of the Catholic Corpus Christi.

Although people believe that it is a blend of Catholic and pagan rituals because of the reference to a baptism of some sorts, Pope Benedict advised priests not to be involved with this ritual because according to the Catholic faith, there is only one Baptism that cleanses one from original sin.

Before now only natives participate in this ritual but recently people all over the world attend and even participate.
The thought of this festival is somewhat disturbing because of the accident that could occur if something goes wrong while jumping over the babies.

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