Castells (2)

Putting on the sash, Banyoles (Catalonia)

“The sash (faixa) is the most important part of their outfit, since it supports the lower back and is used by other castellers in the team as a foothold or handhold when climbing up the tower.

This tasselled piece of cloth varies in length and width and depends on the casteller’s position inside the tower and also on choice. The length of the sash ranges from 1.5 to 12 m and usually is shorter for those higher up in the castell.

Performing castellers usually go barefoot as to minimise injuries upon each other as they climb to their positions and also for sensitivity when balancing and to have better feel and hold each other. ” (Wikipedia)

Castells (human towers) (1)

Plaça de les Rodes, Banyoles (Catalonia)

For me the ‘castells‘ (human towers) symbolize an essential characteristic of Catalonia and its people: everyone working together to build and create and enjoy it. Music being part of it.

Recently I witnessed a festival of ‘colles’ from Banyoles and nearby villages and cities that was held on a square two minutes from my home. My idea was to capture all the stages of the building of a castell. This resulted to be rather complicated, because of the huge amount of people involved. Taking an esthetically interesting picture was even harder.

In the end I have selected a number of photos that are rather documentary that can give you an idea of what constructing a human tower implies, phase after phase. This first one of a nearly finished castle is the starting point of this series.

A book as a present

Sant Jordi, Plaça Major of Banyoles (Catalonia)

On 23 April Catalonia celebrates Sant Jordi (Saint George), a day filled with books and roses.

Traditionally the man gives the woman a rose and she gives him a book. Nowadays things have changed and books and roses are given freely.

But it seems the girl of the photo preferred to hang on to the idea of presenting her lover with a book which she has just given him: the collection of poetry ‘The Sun and Her Flowers’ by Rupi Kaur. Will she get her rose?

Manaies (1)

Maniple of Manaies, Banyoles (Catalonia)

In Banyoles every Friday before Palm Sunday the procession of Mare de Déu dels Dolors takes place headed by a unit of Roman soldiers. This tradition is at least 150 years old.

As explained on my blog Catalan Women this year for the first time women can take part in the parade too.

As I took a lot of photos, I would like to share some of them with you the next few days.