Zaragoza’s “Giants and big heads” tradition

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Posted September 25, 2013 by zaragozaturismo in Fiestas del Pilar

gigantes

One of the most beloved traditions of Zaragoza is the parade of Giants and Big Heads which comes up in the Fiestas del Pilar , San Valero and Cincomarzada . The Giants dance with ceremonial step to enliven the public while the Big Heads chase the kids through the streets to whip them. The characters that make up the troupe are icons of popular culture or real people who lived in Zaragoza.

The tradition of Giants and Big Heads is very popular in Navarre , Aragon , Catalonia, Valencia, Andalusia , Castilla -La Mancha and northern Spain. In the 16th century these troupes danced to the rhythm of drums and accompanied chiflainas and Corpus Christi processions, for some people they represented the vices or heresy and for others nature under God .

Zaragoza’s troupe of Giants and Big Heads has increased through the years. In 1807 there were four giant four Big Heads, four Giants and four horses (that had horse head and human body). Nowadays, there are 12 giants (King, Queen, Duke, Duchess, Don Quixote, Dulcinea, Chinese man, African woman, the Béarn, the Bearnaise, José de Palafox and Agustina de Aragon) and 9 Big Heads (Morico, One-Eyed, Forano, Forana, Berrugón, Torero, Robaculeros , Pharmacist and Pilara). A new Big Head will be presented during this years’ Fiestas del Pilar: Jotero will enlarge the troupe.

Each Big Head has a song. The children sing them to mock the Big Heads. If you haven’t run in front of the Big Heads, we invite you to learn the songs to tempt them 😉


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