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Castellers de Mallorca celebrate Spring festival in Palma

Human towers in Majorca

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James Fisher | Mallorca Video Reporter | Published: 4 Jun 2012

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Castellers de Mallorca celebrate Spring festival in Palma

This Sunday we were lucky enough to catch another spectacular fiesta in Palma de Mallorca. Like the festival in Soller three weeks ago and the up coming Nit de Foc in Palma, this is a Majorcan tradition that is more interested in fun and participation than health and safety - the Catalan Castells.

Castells are human towers that are built up in sections, with a large group of strong men at the base who support several additional tiers, with a young, and very brave child balanced on the summit like a  Christmas tree angel.

Yesterday the Castellers de Mallorca were involved in a Spring Festival competition with a rival group. They met at the foot of the steps to Palma's Cathedral to form their towers. The men who form the base, or pinya, were wrapping their waists with black sashes that act as a back support and foot hold for the climbers. Children, some as young as six, ran around excitedly in their bright red shirts, crash helmets at the ready in case they were chosen to be the enxaneta - the prestigious top layer.

Once the Palma de Mallorca team were ready, they formed up and built their tower. Not content with simply building their tower, they then proceeded to walk down to meet their rivals who waited at the bottom of ramp at the foot of the Cathedral.

The tower was, by some standards, a simple one but watching it move down the slope towards the other team with a young girl balancing on top was pretty spectacular.

The plan was for the two teams to race, to see who could have their enxanete reach the top first before safely dismantling their towers. Unfortunately it began to rain, and not wanting to get too wet, we moved on. But the brave climbers continued on and continued to build more complex and bigger towers despite the weather.

There are more chances to see this Catalan tradition in all it's mad glory throughout the summer as the Castellers de Mallorca meet on a weekly basis for practice sessions as well as for fiestas and celebrations.

Their next competition is at Lluc on Sunday 10th June and you can find the dates and locations of other competitions and fiestas where they will be appearing on the Castellers de Mallorca website.

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