THE GREAT “CASTELLERS” AND THE SANTA TECLA FEAST

Concurs de CastellsConcurs de Castells
TARRAGONA

Get a ticket for the Concurso de Castells de Tarragona the Human Towers Contest,

and enjoy the show! As you look at it with the eyes of visitors, the parents of children who climb to the top of the human 'castells' spend an endless momento of anxiety. When the person in charge of the group gives the signal, the "acotxador" – the penultimate to climb to the human tower- and the "enxaneta " – the child that crowns the construction - have to be sharpen their wits to crown the "castell", climbing

among legs and arms. When they reach the top, maybe 7 or 8 meters from the ground, the parents have eaten their nails and do not want to look any longer.

Living the Tarragona Human Towers Contest from the stands, close to the protagonists, but with a privileged view, is a real luxury. In 2010 the 'castells' were designated Intangible Cultural Heritage of Mankind and for the pride of the lands of Tarragona and Costa Daurada (Golden Coast),the origin of this tradition is in the city of Valls.

The Contest is ceklebrated avery two years and brings together the best 'colles castelleres' of the season of all Catalonia. It is the contest of reference of the calendar in which the towers are scored and one colla – group – becomes the winner. The Castellers of Vilafranca, Colla Vella de Valls, Colla Jove de Taragona and the Minyons of Terrassa have competed in the last editions, which have always ended with the victory of Vilafranca. And every year there are new castells and more challenges are overcome.

Pilar Caminiant - Autor: Pep EscodaPilar Caminiant - Autor: Pep Escoda

INFILTRATE THE PREMISES OF THE 'CASTELLERS'

The rehearsals of the "colles castelleres" – the teams - are always open. The rehearsals of the group of Tarragona are celebrated at their premises every Tuesday and Friday. If your stay does not coincide with the contest dates, you will be welcome to gossip at any time of the year. And if you dare to make 'pinya' - to form part of the base of the human tower -, surely they will agree! If you are looking for an even more complete experience, from June to October the "Tarragona, city of castells" event is celebrated. It is a calendar of activities to bring the world of human towers closer to those who are not familiar with it. For example, a member of the 'colla' will give you a guided tour of a 'casteller' reherasal if you make the appointment previously. There are also 'castellers'exhibitions and workshops in various localities of the city during these three months.

Baixada Mulassa - Autor: Hugues A.Baixada Mulassa - Autor: Hugues A.

TO SANTA TECLA TO SING “AMPARITO ROCA”

In September, Tarragona explodes. And it does so especially in its famous celebrations declared of national tourist interest. In reality, no recognition of the Santa Tecla Festivities,seems to be enough. The main day of this feast is September 23, and the feast very often lasts for more than 10 days. "Amparito Roca" is the popular pasodoble march that has become the omnipresent anthem of the feast. It makes the inhabitants of Trragona go crazy with every descent of the 'Àliga', in each concert of each band and in each 'tecler' entourage. Music, street shows, gastronomic offer, the whole life intensifies these days in Tarragona to dedicate it to the patroness of the city.
Among the most famous traditions of Santa Tecla is the 'mamadeta', a drink made with green Chartreuse, yellow Chartreuse and lemon slush. Also the initiative “Café, copa y puro por un duro” (Coffee, a glass of liquor and a cigar for a dime), in which hundreds of people go crazy to find a `duro´ (five pesetas coin) to taste a liquor and join the party. And the little ones also end up reminding Santa Tecla because the get forever rid of the dummy and hand it over to the Vibria, a female dragon of bad mood

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