October in Tarragona

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Human Tower Competition (Concurs de Castells)

5 – 6 October 2019 

The ultimate display of teamwork. Groups of everyday people from ages 5 to 95, work together to build a living human structure.

Watching the castellers climb to create towers reaching upwards of nine stories high will take your breath away…leaving you with the feeling of both fear and excitement.

The tradition of castells within Catalonia was first documented in 1712. It originated in the Ball dels Valencians (Valencian Dance) in Valls, near the city of Tarragona. During the18th century, this tradition spread to other towns and cities in the area, including Vilafranca del Penedès and Tarragona. During the last 50 years, the practice of building castells began to spread to the rest of Catalonia. Interest in castells began to grow in the 1960s and 1970s and in the 1980s, women were finally included in the formerly male-only discipline. The presence of women is credited with allowing castells to be built lighter and stronger, permitting the construction of previously undreamed-of 9 and 10-storey castells. The tallest human tower to date is the “4 by 10” (10 levels with 4 people per level).

In Catalonia, the Ball dels Valencians focus more on the acrobatic nature of building ever taller human towers. The Muixeranga is a more religious and allegorical version that retains its traditions and is performed in Algemesi, Valencia and other villages where it is called moixiganga.

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