Trish and I timed it just right and went to a festival celebrating St. Ursula in a town called Valls. It was just over an hour’s drive and well worth what lay before us. We are not sure of the legend that took place in the form of an enormous horse and giants that moved- thanks to young boys inside them.
The giants consisted of a king and queen who were accompanied by black (mini-giants). They led the parade around the town – followed by the major and other dignitaries.
The Dance (Giants and Mini-Giants
Before the human pyramid competitions, there was a hearty singing of the Catalonian national anthem (Catalonia supported the Republican side against General Franco in the Spanish civil war). Recently, Catalonians voted to separate from Spain.
The Base and Start Building
Human pyramid competitions originated in Catalonia. We stared in utter amazement as men, women and children climbed up on their team’s shoulders. A small child wearing a safety helmet just clambered up to the top. The base started below the balcony where the Mayor and other officials were standing. This would be about the equivalent of a two-storey building.
The Disaster ???????
We watched as the pyramid passed the Mayor’s balcony and reached – perhaps, the fourth or fifth storey. They were almost within shaking hand distance from spectators who were located on top of the building.
Suddenly, we saw the column wobble and Trish and I gripped one another. Then, we witnessed them fall, but instead of gasps of sympathy and concern from the crowd, they clapped wildly. I turned to a clapping woman and said (without a concern for the fact that she might not speak English) “They fell deliberately?” She laughed and said, “Si. Yes, this is part of the rules.”