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Cultural Festivals

Cultural Festivals

Cultural festivals are very important to the cultures of communities and states. Different countries have different festivals that aim to celebrate or keep their cultural heritage alive. Of these countries, the United States and Spain have an abundance of such functions.

The Baby Jumping Festival

The Baby jumping festival is also known as ‘’el coach’’ in Spanish (Walker, 2015). It is an old festival that takes place with colorful costumes, mystery plays, religious processions and a unique mock of terror.

The Origin and Reason for the Festival

The festival originated in 1620. It was performed to cleanse the souls of babies born in the last one year since the other ritual. The festival was designed to save children from spoilage and the evil eye, and protect them from dark forces and diseases. The ceremony starts on late May or early June and takes five days. Visitors attending it witness a series of rituals consisting of a mixture of traditional religion and Spanish folklore.

The Participants of the Festivals

The Santisimo Sacramento de Minerva Brotherhood is a group of men in the local surrounding who represent evil. The men are given responsibility to organize the celebration. The procedure takes place within two groups. The first one, the devils, also known as El Salto del Colacho, who dress in red and yellow costume that are brightly colored (Walker, 2015). Their role is to jump over the babies. The second group, the El Atabalero, wear black suits complimented with large sombreros and carrying large drums.

Where the Festival takes place

The festival takes place on the street. On Wednesday, the Brotherhood starts terrorizing people with batons and whips. Their odd behavior lasts until Sunday, when the holy activities officially begin. The people create small altars and use flowers to decorate their houses. The blood of Jesus is represented by the wine and water placed on the alters. The procession observers consume the wine and water. The local children celebrating their first holy communion and the clergy begin the procession. As a sign of holiness, capturing the perceived evil, the procession starts from the church, goes around the town and later returns to the church.

How to celebrate the Festival

The locals bring the infants to the street dressed in their best clothes and lay in full-sized bed mattresses in two rows. The age bracket of the infants lies between the newborn and twelve months of age. Once the procession ends, the Devils storm out of the church into the street running towards the babies (Campbell, 2013). They jump over the innocent children and immediately run out of the town. The action of jumping the full length of the mattresses repreesents a sign of evil being cast out of the town and casting out sins of the infants. As soon as this concludes, the babies are considered pure and clean, as if they have been baptized.

Reasons as to why I would like to participate in this Festival

The baby jumping festival is very interesting. The notion of adults jumping over babies is just plain bizarre and, at the same time, exciting. I would like to participate in the festival and experience the unity demonstrated by the Spanish locals of the city of Castrillo de Murcia. The locals like to do things differently from the normal Christian festivals in honor of the Holy Eucharist.

Comparison between the Baby Jumping Festival of Spain and the Corpus Christi Festival of the United States

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Similarities

The Corpus Christi is a festival held in the United States. Many Christians, specifically those of the Catholic faith, participate in this festival in honor of the Holy Eucharist (Brown, 2014). The Corpus Christi is similar to the Baby Jumping Festival, because they are both performed in honor of the Holy Eucharist. A celebration of the two festivals occurs on Sunday.

Differences

In the Baby Jumping Festival, wine and water are used as a symbol of the blood of Jesus, while in the Corpus Christi, consecrated bread and chalice symbolize the Holy Eucharist (Brown, 2014).

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