Dancing Giants and Bigheads: Processions and Puppets in Catalonia

Astles, Cariad (2009) Dancing Giants and Bigheads: Processions and Puppets in Catalonia. In: Animated Bodies: A Review of Puppetry and Related Arts. Animations in Print (3). Puppet Centre Trust, London, pp. 44-47. ISBN 9780904842074


Dancing giant puppets, human and beast, and the giant masks/body puppets known in Catalonia as bigheads (capgrossos) are widespread and hugely popular throughout the region. These typical process on the central day of the festa major, or local holiday/sain't day, of each Catalonian town or village. The festes majors usually take place over several days, with one day (often a Saturday) nominated as the day for ritual celebration and speeches. The festes are celebrated at different points over the summer months, with some as early as April and some as late as November. During the day of ritual and speeches, the giant puppets and bigheads process from a pre-designated location through a route which is repeated year after year, to a central square. Here, local dignitaries, officials and prominent citizens make speeches and say pryers in honour of the community, and the festival is toasted.


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