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Concurs de Castells (human tower competition) is an event and I like events. Concurs de Castells (human tower competition) is an incredible spectacle of human strength and balance in Tarragona, Spain. Once every two years in Spain, some few thousand men, women, and even children climb on each other’s shoulders to create the tallest and the strongest human tower in the history of mankind. Concurs de Castells is one of the most important cultural traditions in Catalonia for more than 200 years and reckoned as the “most important Human Tower Competition” in the world, recognized by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. It takes place every other October in the city of Tarragona, with the participation of hundreds of participants (called castellers) forming human towers up to 10 stories high. It’s the ultimate exhibition of teamwork as large groups of everyday people from the ages of five to 95 work together to build a living human structure. Watching the castellers climb to create towers reaching upwards of nine stories high will take your breath away—a mix of fear and excitement.
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The XXVI Tarragona Human Tower Competition, organised by the City Hall, will be held on September 25th of 2018 in Tarragona and on October 1st and 2nd in the Tarraco Arena Plaça of Tarragona, with the participation of 42 teams.
Why Concurs de Castells (human tower competition) 2018?
Nearly 6.000 spectators enjoy the most important tower building event, which also enjoys wide coverage in the Catalan media and, ever more frequently, in international media. In short, the Human Tower Competition is a first class event and a magnificent opportunity to enjoy human tower building, an example of Catalan culture declared Cultural and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
History of Concurs de Castells:
The Castellers de Vilafranca is a cultural and sporting association whose main objective is to build castells (human towers). It has the status of a public-interest association. The group was founded in 1948 in response to the increased interest in human tower building in Vilafranca del Penedès, a Catalan tradition that has evolved since the 18th century Ball de Valencians, a dance from Valencia.
Nowadays, the Castellers de Vilafranca have about 400 active human tower building members of all ages, with no discrimination on the grounds of race, religion, sex or social status.
Come before the main event. A celebration dedicated to St. Ursula features a folkloric procession of giants.
Take in a parade. Catalan revelers hold several over the festival weekend.
Join in a traditional Valencian dance. Costumed men and women (mostly women), perform on the streets.
While the main event takes place on the first weekend in October on even numbered years, you can witness castellers in action at the following:
The annual Santa Tecla festival occurs in the days around late September.
Les Festes De La Merce is around late September.
Calcotada (Calcot Festival) occurs a week after Castells with long tables appearing in the streets of Valls with a food and feast celebrating local vegetables.