Spectacular, exciting, bold and brave was the presentation of the Castellers de Vilafranca, from Catalonia, who are visiting Mexico for the first time. This Sunday morning they caused admiration among passersby by erecting human towers in front of the Angel of Independence.
More than 200 years old, the construction of human watchtowers is one of the most deeply rooted cultural manifestations in Catalonia and recognized in the world. The feat is distinguished by the combination of strength, balance and bravery, and represents a spirit of improvement and solidarity. In 2010, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization included it on the list of world heritage sites.
From 11:15 a.m., members of the Castellers de Vilafranca who arrived in the country to celebrate the 75th anniversary of its foundation and share that tradition with Mexicans, were the admiration of the large audience that came to see them.
They surprised Sunday strollers who were walking, running or on roller skates, and cyclists who were circulating along Paseo de la Reforma avenue, closed to vehicular traffic.
The group invited spectators to be part of the base of the human castles, which in a short time were raised one by one, while the difficulty and excitement increased.
The Castellers de Vilafranca arrived in the country in a contingent of people of different complexions and ages; the majority were men and, in addition to women, there were about 20 children, all recognized as the
verdesfor wearing the official t-shirt of that color, as well as white pants.
They were received with applause, and then they began with the first of the five towers they built.
At first they erected a simple four-story structure, which was followed by more, increasing the excitement among spectators and the technical difficulty of the structures.
The public watched expectantly as the bodies were piled up, climbing, one on top of the other, until they reached eight stories high, which always ended up crowned with one or two children at the top.
A fundamental element is the music that accompanies the castellers that are in action. On this occasion, an ensemble of four musicians (drum, clarinet and two grallas, a woodwind instrument, whose origin dates back to the 19th century), whose performance evoked medieval times.
touch of castlesmusic has the important function of accompanying and announcing the castellers that are below how the structure is developing, explained Joan Reyes.
Among the most difficult human towers, the Castellers de Vilafranca built one
composed: a castle with a spire or pillar, since on each floor there were four people and in its center, a human column.
The last of the towers was the most spectacular, since it reached eight stories high and, visually, formed two parallel structures, culminating with two boys at the top, who displayed the flag of Mexico and the Catalan independence flag.
After appearing at the Angel of Independence, the Castellers of Vilafranca moved to the Monument to the Revolution, where they built more human castles.
Today they will repeat in Teotihuacan at 11:30 a.m., tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. in the Zócalo and on Wednesday next to the Cholula Pyramid, in Soria Park, where they will share space with the Papantla flyers.