“The castellers” (human tower) are considered, today, as a very important manifestation of the culture and tradition of Catalonia, which is increasingly expanding overseas thanks to the enormous popularity achieved in recent years.
The “castells” (castles) are spectacular human towers built with great physical and mental effort by people who constitute a “colla castellera” (group of people who organize and carry out the “castells”). Their presence takes place during different Catalan Popular Festivals and they are accompanied of traditional music interpreted in live for them.
The origin of “The castellers” in Catalonia is found in the old “Dance of Valencianos” of the XV century, which ended with a human tower its performance. Over time, the lands of southern Catalonia adapted only the part of the human tower resulting in the birth of the Castells in Catalonia. The complication, the spirit of improvement, and the expansion of the Catalan territories, was the dynamics of the following years in which they tried to get human towers taller and more original. Already from this moment, they began to associate with the local celebrations. Thus, the first documented performance of a performance of “Els castellers” is on February 2, 1801 in the framework of the Decennial Festivities of the Virgen de la Candela in Valls, Tarragona.
Although during the 20th century there were moments of less success, the truth is that since the 80s, “The Castellers” have followed a growing popularity that led them in 2010 to be considered Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by Unesco.
The “castells” are divided in several parts and there are different types of “castells” of variable difficulty. In its parts we have the pineapple, which would be the base, and where large numbers of “castellers” participate, the trunk that would prove to be the central part of the tower, which can be multi-storey according to its difficulty and with different formation; and the “pom de dalt” or higher floor with the “enxaneta” figure, a child who must crown the highest point of the tower by raising his right hand. When this is done it is considered that the “castell” has been loaded, and it still lacks the entire download of the “castell” to be considered finished. There are optional parts present in many “castells” that are the “folre” and “manilles” that reinforce the “castell” to resist with greater security.
The greatest milestone of “The castellers” in Catalonia occurred last November 22, 2015 with the loading and unloading of a 4 of 10 with folre and manilles, in charge of the colla Minyons de Terrassa.
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