the castle fact
The castells are one of the traditions par excellence of Catalan culture, hundreds of people united to defy gravity and perched on top of each other to make constructions that have reached up to ten floors. The small ditches that crown the structure when you raise your hand are the representative symbol of the castells, but the strength, balance, courage and good sense behind this gesture have allowed this centuries-old tradition to be maintained and still put the goosebumps to your viewers.
Delving into the casteller fact during the month of August means moving to Camp de Tarragona and Penedès, regions that are the cradle of this tradition and where most of the most important groups and performances of the season are currently found.
the castle fact
To understand the casteller fact, it is necessary to know that it is an activity that dates back to the beginning of the 19th century and whose origins are linked to the festive dances of the peasantry of southern Catalonia that ended with small constructions. It is believed that based on creating rivalry to build these higher constructions, what we know today as castles arise.
Buildings are counted according to width (the number of people on each floor) and height (the number of people on top of each other) taking into account that the pineapple (the base of the castle) and the children who climb only on what high ( padding and enxaneta ) count as separate floors. When a group builds six-story castles, it is considered that they already have enough level to act in the square and the best groups build constructions of up to nine and at specific times, ten floors.
The casteller fact is characterized by the union of many generations with a single objective, to be in a place where everyone can have some function, as it is an activity that unites sanity and rapture in equal measure and in an essential way.
Agriculture and human tower rivalry in Valls
For 66 years the center of the city of Valls has been home to the Firagost, a point of exhibition and sale of articles related to the countryside and traditional objects from the area; wines, cavas, nuts, handicrafts, agricultural machinery, cattle... In the midst of this scenario, every year a human tower meeting is held with the two groups of the city, the Colla Joves Xiquets de Valls with a red shirt and the Colla Vella of the Children of Valls with a pink shirt.
It is a unique fact that a city of just over 24,500 inhabitants has two centuries-old casteller groups and that both are at the forefront of the classification, building castles of up to nine and ten floors. The rivalry between the two groups is very noticeable in the performances where they come face to face and in their city, a show that we invite you to experience live in the capital of the Alt Camp.
Virgin of August in La Bisbal del Penedès
On August 15, La Virgen de Agosto, is a holiday throughout Spain and a Major Festival in La Bisbal del Penedès, a small town of 3,800 inhabitants who see their population multiply due to a casteller meeting. The best groups in the human tower world meet, each moving between three and four hundred people and a large audience from all over Catalonia.
San Magín fills the city of Tarragona with color
A few days later we moved to Tarragona, where every August 19 the four groups of the city meet to celebrate La Diada Castellera de Sant Magí. The Children of Tarragona with red and white striped shirts, the Young Children of Tarragona with purple shirts, the Children of Serrallo with blue shirts and the Castellers de Sant Pere and Sant Pau with green shirts fill the Plaza de las Coles with colors and life below an imposing August sun.
The rivalry of the performance takes place between the first two groups Xiquets de Tarragona and the Jove Xiquets de Tarragona, both of which are among the ten best groups in the world of human towers, erect buildings between eight and nine floors, guaranteeing a very good show. The other two colles, del Serrallo and Sant Pere y Sant Pau (two districts of Tarragona ) build castles of seven and eight stories respectively.
Madroño a small group among the largest
The city of L'Arboç has been the venue for great performances throughout history, although the population has not always had a gang. The city group, the Minyons de l' Arboç with a red shirt, was born in the middle of the last century, in 1958; but it remained inactive for almost thirty years, from 1974 to 2003, when the madroños revived the group by celebrating big festivities in their plaza until they built eight-story castles.
On the fourth Sunday of August, the day on which the most outstanding castellers performance is celebrated, with the local group and three large guest groups, another well-known traditional festival takes place, the wheelbarrow. It is a fire show where for about thirty minutes and without giving rise to any pause, a corner of the Plaza del Ayuntamiento de l'Arboç is filled with fire.
San Félix, the castle festival par excellence
We cannot talk about castles and performances in the month of August without finishing with the great event of the season, the Festival of San Félix inVilafranca, on August 30.
It is a square in which, under an imposing sun and in the midst of many people, the most spectacular performance of the season takes place. In this square the four best groups in the casteller ranking, Castellers de Vilafranca, the Colla Vella Niños de Valls, the Colla Jovenes Niños de Valls and the Minyons de Terrassa with mauve shirts, meet to try to unload their best constructions, it is a day that it is allowed to risk a little to emerge victorious from the square.
This performance is held inVilafranca within the framework of one of the most casteller-oriented Major Festivals, since the city has two groups, Castellers de Vilafranca, and a smaller one, Chicos de Vilafranca with a red shirt, who perform almost every day of the party, so if you feel like castles, don't hesitate to visit this city.
You may also be interested in: Live the emotion of the human towers and the human towers in Catalonia 2023