Sunday, September 15, 2013

Bizarre: El Colacho-Baby Jumping Ritual

Majorca, Spain-trekearth
Farjestaden, Sweden-trekearth

I have previously presented the post:

Ridiculous And Bizarre Baby Tossing

Examining the Blogger pageview statistics the article has above average pageview numbers. That is by my modest standards.

Therefore, with the philosophical 'tension' between potentially pleasing readers and writing what I am led to write, I hope the following is reasonable.

First some crucial commentary on the previous post as in live in the flesh from an actual human being. 

Nostalgia From United Kingdom 1999-2001

It is from church this morning and my good friend, Harald, from Germany, married to an American, living in Vancouver.

I shall paraphrase his comments:

Harald with huge smile sounding a bit like Arnold...

'Yaw I read your article...about your rental situation in England, and about Dave'. 'It was tricky'. 'But you must have got a cheap deal'. 'When I first came to Vancouver I ended up in a similar situation as I looked for a cheap place that sounded like a good deal'.

'I rented a place in Gastown and it ended up in a flat above a nightclub'.

'Boom boom boom'

Mail Online June 2-3, 2013

The header


'Pray he doesn't put a step wrong: Spanish 'devil' El Colacho takes leap of faith over one-year-old babies to 'cleanse their spirits''

'Tradition in Castrillo de Murcia - near Burgos, Spain - dates back to 1621' 'Colacho is 'devil who takes away evil from babies by jumping over them''

'It is the culmination of a four-day celebration after Corpus Christi feast'

End of header Quotes:


'There can’t be many parents around the world who would allow their babies to take part in such an event - but some are clearly willing to take the risk.

A man representing the devil, called El Colacho, today jumped over the one-year-olds in the village of Castrillo de Murcia, near Burgos in northern Spain, in an annual festival dating back to 1621.

The Colacho represents the devil who takes away the evil from the babies as he jumps over them in the medieval religious custom that takes place to celebrate the Catholic feast of Corpus Christi.'

'Over the centuries there have been no reports of injuries among the babies, but the festival is still considered to be one of the riskiest in the world.

The previous pope, Benedict XVI, had asked Spanish priests to distance themselves from the event.'



'Baby jumping (El Colacho) is a traditional Spanish holiday dating back to 1620 that takes place annually to celebrate the Catholic feast of Corpus Christi in the village of Castrillo de Murcia near Burgos.[1][2][3] During the act, known as El Salto del Colacho (the devil's jump) or simply El Colacho, men dressed as the Devil (known as the Colacho) jump over babies born during the previous twelve months of the year who lie on mattresses in the street.

The Brotherhood of Santísimo Sacramento de Minerva organizes the week-long festivities which culminate on Sunday when the Colacho jumps over the babies on the mattresses placed on the procession route traversing the town. [4][5][6] The festival has been rated as one of the most dangerous in the world.[citation needed] The origins of the tradition are unknown but it is said to cleanse the babies of original sin, ensure them safe passage through life and guard against illness and evil spirits.[7][8][9]'

End citations

Although there have been no reported injuries with the ritual the risks are still apparent and in my mind there are no theological benefits.

Grenz, Guretzki and Nordling explain that original sin is the state of alienation from God in which all human beings are born. Grenz (1999: 86). The sin of Adam of Eve via fallen nature being imputed to the rest of humanity. Grenz (1999: 86).

Biblically this can only be reversed for human beings through the atoning and resurrection work of Christ applied to persons as in being chosen and predestined in Christ, Ephesians 1 by grace through faith unto good works, Ephesians 2.

It cannot be reversed by work, works or ritual.

A view only intensified through twelve years of MPhil and PhD work in the areas of free will and determinism.

This is not to state that I am opposed to efforts to bring children into Christian faith and even Christian philosophy at an early age.

Teaching children within a Christian worldview is essential and this should include Bible and Theology, and I would recommend at some point Philosophy to some degree.

And yes, I of course support a full range of education for a child.

I realize that other worldviews should also be understood.

Reformed Presbyterians, and I am member of a PCA Church practice infant baptism or paedobaptism.

According to John P. Sartelle:

'The Bible teaches that the sign of salvation is to be applied to the children of believing parents. In the Old Testament, circumcision was the sign. The New Testament baptism is the sign'. Sartelle (1985: 22). It is a sign of a covenant between the parents and God to raise their children in the Lord, in Christ. 

To me this is a theological construct and not explicitly Biblical as would be Believer's Baptism (Matthew 28: 18-20) for which there is a stronger Biblical case, however, it is not heretical.

I would disagree with a Baptist or like that states it is.

One could as well based on the Reformed views on free will and determinism and compatibilism, be a Reformed Baptist, or like and commit one's child to the covenant of God in Christ without infant baptism or paedobaptism and maintain it reasonably Biblically, theologically and philosophically.

This based primarily on the concept and theology that can be found in Ephesians 1 and 2 that God chooses/elects by grace through faith unto good works, whom he causes/wills.

GRENZ, STANLEY J., DAVID GURETZKI AND CHERITH FEE NORDLING (1999) Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms, Downers Grove, Ill., InterVarsity Press.

SARTELL, JOHN P (1985) Infant Baptism, PR Publishing, Phillipsburg, New Jersey


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