Crowds applaud as the tradition of giant human towers in Catalonia returns for the first time since the start of the pandemic

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Watch the Catalans celebrate as a human tower is created for the Santa rsula festival.


Crowds cheered as a two-story human tower formed into a Catalan downtown – for the first time, the centuries-old tradition has taken place since the start of the pandemic.

Images of dozens of people neatly stacking on top of each other captured a moment of close contact that would have seemed unthinkable during the Covid lockdowns just over a year ago.

The show, which marks the occasion of the Santa rsula festival in the town of Valls, was a welcome return to a semblance of normalcy for the locals.

Performers wore masks and helmets as they climbed to stand on each other’s shoulders, supported by a sprawling base of linked people.

The human towers – or “castells” – of the region of Catalonia are among the oldest and strongest traditions in the region.

The human tower is carefully formed by people standing on top of each other. Credit: PA

In accordance with local regulations, all entrances to the square were open and there was no number limit.

However, as a reminder of the precautions in the event of a pandemic, the “castellers” were obliged to cover their faces during the performance.

The tradition of building human towers or “castells” dates back to the 18th century and takes place during festivals in Catalonia, where “colles” or teams compete to build the tallest and most complicated towers.

The “Castells” have been declared one of the masterpieces of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity by UNESCO.


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Almost all remaining lockdown restrictions were lifted recently in Catalonia, ending limits on restaurants, bars and public gatherings.

Spain has managed to bring its outbreaks under control recently, recording seven-day average case numbers of around 2,000.

The UK seven-day average is just over 45,000.



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