Spain boasts some of the most unusual festivals in the world, and baby jumping is perhaps at the top of the list.
Known as El Salto del Colacho (the devil’s jump) or simply El Colacho, this festival is a traditional Spanish practice dating back to 1620. It takes place every year in June in the village of Castrillo de Murcia near Burgos to celebrate the Catholic feast of Corpus Christi. Babies that have been born within the last twelve months (after the last El Colacho) are laid on the ground on mattresses and several men dressed as the devil (El Colacho) jump over them and continue running. The idea is that the devil and his companions have been driven out of the church and town.
The origins of this tradition are unknown, but it is believed that this act cleanses the babies of original sin, ensures them safe passage through life and protects them against illness and evil spirits. By jumping over them, El Colacho takes with him the ill fate that can befall the babies.
In addition, dressed up as El Colacho or El Atabalero (the devil and his companion), members of the brotherhood of Santisimo Sacramento de Minerva - who organize the festival – chase people around the town throughout the day with whips or truncheons.