Monday, 31 January 2011

Fifty-seven Human Towers at the Same Time

The Catalan tradition to build human towers (castells) has its origin in Valls, in the province of Tarragona. And although this is a small town of only 25.000 inhabitants, two of the four best teams still have their home here; Colla Vella dels Xiquets de Valls and Colla Joves Xiquets de Valls.

Every year towards the end of January, Valls organizes its winter festa majorla Candelera. However, for more than 200 years, every ten years this festivity is celebrated with a much greater splendour – les festes decennals - and when this occurs all human tower teams (colles castelleres) from the so called Catalan countries (Països Catalans) are invited to perform here. In 2011, this huge castellers meeting took place on January 30 and set a new record with 57 teams and almost 10.000 participants.

The most difficult construction we saw this time was a torre de 8 by Castellers de Vilafranca. The team where I am a member – Bordegassos de Vilanova – had a successful day, building a pilar de 5 in front of the town hall in plaça del blat and then a 3 de 7 and a pilar de 5 erected from below during the joint performances.


Florenci Salesas said...

Wopeee!!! Brilliant! The first picture is absolutely beautiful. I feel a bit more optimistic after reading this post.

Thank you and congratulations mister Casteller! :)

MarkT said...

Wow -watching the castelliers/ Bordegassos always makes me nervous- there must have been many "hearts in mouths" yesterday- well done!!

Erik Wirdheim said...


I must admit being very happy for the first picture.

And although I am glad to have made you more optimistic, I cannot promise that my future post will do the same... ;-)


Erik Wirdheim said...

Hi there Mark,

Thank you for commenting. I see that you also live here in Vilanova so assume that it will not take too long before I spot you out in the town. :-)

Regarding the many "hearts in mouths" I would guess that relatively speaking there were few of them in Valls. My bet is that we participants outnumbered the audience by a factor of 10 and most of those who did watch were "vallencs" and thus seasoned castells-spectators.