Inside El Colacho, the wild 400-year-old Spanish festival where men dress as devils and hurdle over babies to drive away evil

GettyThe ‘Colacho’ (representing the ‘devil’) jumps over babies during ‘El salto del Colacho,’ the baby jumping festival in the village of Castrillo de Murcia, June 3, 2018.
  • Every June men in the Spanish town of Castrillo de Murcia dress as devils and hurdle over newborn babies to drive away evil – part of the the festival of El Salto del Colacho.
  • Meaning “the devil’s jump,” it happens in northern Spain, near the city of Burgos, and has been going on since 1620.
  • Catholics believe the devils drive away evil from the babies by using whips and castanets as they hurdle over the children.
  • Here’s what it looks like.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.

Every June 23, men in the northern Spanish town of Castrillo de Murcia don devil outfits and hurtle down the streets vaulting over newborn babies.

The Catholic celebration of El Salto del Colacho, which translates as “The devil’s jump,” has been going on in Castrillo every year since 1620.

The baby-jumper represents the devil who is removing evil from the babies, who are all under one year old.

Carrying whips and castanets to drive off spirits, the devil will hurdle over 100 babies before chasing older children in the town square.

Here’s what it’s like to be there.


El Colacho takes place every year on a Sunday in late June to celebrate the Catholic feast of Corpus Christi. This year it will be held on June 23.

GettyThe ‘Colacho’ (man representing the devil) jumps over babies during ‘El salto del Colacho’, the baby jumping festival in the village of Castrillo de Murcia, June 3, 2018

Men dressed in traditional costume meant to make them look like devils charge down from the town’s old church and jump over small mattresses with babies on as onlookers watch.

GettyA man dressed as the devil jumps over babies at El Colacho.

It has happened in Castrillo de Murcia every year since 1620.

YouTube/Fearless & FarThe small town of Castrillo De Murcia.

The running starts as the clock strikes 6:00 p.m.

GettyA devil jumps over babies at El Salto del Colacho.

The devils hold horsehair whips and castanets as they jump, which they use to drive away evil.

GettyBaby jumping (El Colacho)

The locals believe the evil spirits stick to the devils as they jump over the babies.

GettyEl Salto del Colacho (the devil’s jump) or simply El Colacho.

Residents also hang white sheets from balconies which symbolise purity — which they hope will banish the devil.

GettyWomen hang white sheets at El Colacho.

The babies lie comfortably on rose petal covered mattresses, and are blissfully unaware of the festivities.

GettyBabies lie on a mattress in the street during ‘El salto del Colacho’, the baby jumping festival in the village of Castrillo de Murcia, near Burgos on June 3, 2018.

At the end of the course, young boys and girls also taunt the devils, until they chase them with the whips and castanets.

GettyA man dressed up as the devil chases children during ‘El Colacho’, the ‘baby jumping festival.’

The celebration is organised by abbots from the local Brotherhood of Santísimo Sacramento de Minerva, who bless the babies. The devil is a member of the brotherhood.

GettyA priest blesses children during ‘El Colacho’, the ‘baby jumping festival’ on June 2, 2013

The devils usually jump over around 100 newborns, while 3,000 people watch from the sidelines.

GettyA man dressed up as the devil jumps over babies lying on a mattress in the street during ‘El Colacho’, the ‘baby jumping festival’ on June 10, 2012.

Source: Burgos Conecta


The babies must have been born in Castrillo or nearby, and be less than one-year-old.

YouTube/Fearless & FarThe devils also chance boys an girls down the streets to chase away bad spirits.

And locals say none of the babies have ever been injured in the competition’s 398-year history.

GettyA baby sits on the fringes of the El Colacho celebration.

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