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Human Towers

The history:
The tradition of building human towers originated in Valls, near the city of Tarragona, in the southern part of Catalonia towards the end of the 18th century. Later it developed a following in other regions of Catalonia even Majorca and, after prohibition under Franco, currently has become very popular in parts of Spain. However, the best and most skilled castellersare still found near Tarragona.

The festival:
In Catalan the word 'castell' means castle. A 'castell' is considered a success when stages of its assembling and disassembling, can be done in complete succession. The assembly is complete once all castellers have climbed into their designated places, and the enxaneta climbs into place at the top and raises one hand with four fingers erect, in a gesture said to symbolize the stripes of the Catalan flag. The exaneta then climbs down the other side of the castell, after which the remaining levels of castellers descend in highest-to-lowest order until all have reached safety.

Aside from the people who climb to form the upper parts of the tower, others are needed to form the pinya, or bottom base of the castell, to sustain its weight. Members of the pinya (most often men) also act as a 'safety net' if the tower structure collapses, cushioning the fall of people from the upper levels.


Symbols:
Typically castellers wear white trousers, a black sash, a bandana and a coloured shirt often bearing the team's emblem. A differently coloured shirt indicates which team a participant is in. Team Castellers de Barcelona wear red shirts whileCastellers de Vilafranca wear green shirts.


Where and when:
Every summer around all the catalonia region.
            3rd of October Tarragona
            23rd- 26th September, La Mercé Festival, Barcelona

More info:
http://castellersdebarcelona.cat (catalan language)

Video:


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10 comments:

Selecta Mania said...

That looks amazing but really scary..
I hope that nobody got injured or died during this festival..

Marc said...

The best Catalan tradition! ;)

Anonymous said...

Well, some people have been injured in the past... I think there are going to be new health and safety rules for this.

Carol M said...

Seen this in Palma last year and it's one of those things that you're so afraid to watch in case someone falls from the top (and I can tell you they go high!) but you also can't take your eyes off because it's just sooooooo cool. Nerves of steel and one of the most increadable things I've seen.

josh said...

I would be terrified of this, never seen anything like it before. Imagine the trust you have to place in the people around you to support you. Amazing

Anonymous said...

What a funny video to wach! Must be great fun watching this one live! Tess x

Anonymous said...

Amazing!! Freedom for Catalonia!!

I LOVE YA!!!

Anonymous said...

ES IMPRESIONANTE VERLOS ACTUAR!!!
YO LA PRIMERA VER QUE FUI A "UNA TROBADA DE CASTELLERS" ME QUEDÉ IMPRESIONADA!!
RECOMIENDO A TODO AQUEL QUE TENGA LA OPORTUNIDAD DE VERLOS QUE SE ANIMO, PORQUE MERECE LA PENA.
EL PROXIMO ENCUENTRO ES EL DIA 23 DE ABRIL EN VILANOVA I LA GELTRÚ.
ÁNIMO COBROBAD EN PERSONA EL ESFUERZO Y EL RIESGO QUE CONLLEVA HACER UN "CASTELL HUMÁ"

BESOTES

ANA T.

Anirac said...

hi,
very interesting web..only a comment about castles...the anxaneta don't do any gesture representing the catalan flag!! they do the "aleta" (sometimes they do a kiss to the square). The "aleta" is only a moviment with the whole hand...perhaps sometimes it is not clear to see, but they open the hand!

gajni said...

Don't wear the same old boring white shirt everywhere. Designer shirts have taken off in the last few years and can make any man stand out and look great.
see more details: pocket square

Post a Comment

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Human Towers

The history:
The tradition of building human towers originated in Valls, near the city of Tarragona, in the southern part of Catalonia towards the end of the 18th century. Later it developed a following in other regions of Catalonia even Majorca and, after prohibition under Franco, currently has become very popular in parts of Spain. However, the best and most skilled castellersare still found near Tarragona.

The festival:
In Catalan the word 'castell' means castle. A 'castell' is considered a success when stages of its assembling and disassembling, can be done in complete succession. The assembly is complete once all castellers have climbed into their designated places, and the enxaneta climbs into place at the top and raises one hand with four fingers erect, in a gesture said to symbolize the stripes of the Catalan flag. The exaneta then climbs down the other side of the castell, after which the remaining levels of castellers descend in highest-to-lowest order until all have reached safety.

Aside from the people who climb to form the upper parts of the tower, others are needed to form the pinya, or bottom base of the castell, to sustain its weight. Members of the pinya (most often men) also act as a 'safety net' if the tower structure collapses, cushioning the fall of people from the upper levels.


Symbols:
Typically castellers wear white trousers, a black sash, a bandana and a coloured shirt often bearing the team's emblem. A differently coloured shirt indicates which team a participant is in. Team Castellers de Barcelona wear red shirts whileCastellers de Vilafranca wear green shirts.


Where and when:
Every summer around all the catalonia region.
            3rd of October Tarragona
            23rd- 26th September, La Mercé Festival, Barcelona

More info:
http://castellersdebarcelona.cat (catalan language)

Video:

10 comments:

Selecta Mania said...

That looks amazing but really scary..
I hope that nobody got injured or died during this festival..

Marc said...

The best Catalan tradition! ;)

Anonymous said...

Well, some people have been injured in the past... I think there are going to be new health and safety rules for this.

Carol M said...

Seen this in Palma last year and it's one of those things that you're so afraid to watch in case someone falls from the top (and I can tell you they go high!) but you also can't take your eyes off because it's just sooooooo cool. Nerves of steel and one of the most increadable things I've seen.

josh said...

I would be terrified of this, never seen anything like it before. Imagine the trust you have to place in the people around you to support you. Amazing

Anonymous said...

What a funny video to wach! Must be great fun watching this one live! Tess x

Anonymous said...

Amazing!! Freedom for Catalonia!!

I LOVE YA!!!

Anonymous said...

ES IMPRESIONANTE VERLOS ACTUAR!!!
YO LA PRIMERA VER QUE FUI A "UNA TROBADA DE CASTELLERS" ME QUEDÉ IMPRESIONADA!!
RECOMIENDO A TODO AQUEL QUE TENGA LA OPORTUNIDAD DE VERLOS QUE SE ANIMO, PORQUE MERECE LA PENA.
EL PROXIMO ENCUENTRO ES EL DIA 23 DE ABRIL EN VILANOVA I LA GELTRÚ.
ÁNIMO COBROBAD EN PERSONA EL ESFUERZO Y EL RIESGO QUE CONLLEVA HACER UN "CASTELL HUMÁ"

BESOTES

ANA T.

Anirac said...

hi,
very interesting web..only a comment about castles...the anxaneta don't do any gesture representing the catalan flag!! they do the "aleta" (sometimes they do a kiss to the square). The "aleta" is only a moviment with the whole hand...perhaps sometimes it is not clear to see, but they open the hand!

gajni said...

Don't wear the same old boring white shirt everywhere. Designer shirts have taken off in the last few years and can make any man stand out and look great.
see more details: pocket square

Post a Comment

 

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