Monday, June 23, 2003

So, how did you celebrate Corpus Christi? Go to Mass?

Or...did you dress up like the devil and jump over babies?

An interesting Spanish observance

A man dressed as the devil leaped over babies lying on mattresses on Sunday as the small Spanish town of Castrillo de Murcia held its traditional Corpus Christi celebrations. While many people across Spain celebrate the Catholic festival with processions and mystery plays, this northern Spanish town has for centuries chosen to protect its young from evil spirits with this unusual ritual. Dressed in a red and yellow costume, the man representing the devil was pursued around the town by a Catholic priest -- leaping over the babies in his flight while the anxious parents stood nearby. In all, he vaulted over around 20 mattresses each holding four or five babies. It is believed that the devil, known as El Colacho, draws all the evil from the children and leaves them cleansed. Parents bring their children from all across the northern region of Burgos to participate in the ritual.