Baby Love ?

This grotesque baby jumping tradition had been going on for centuries at the annual Corpus Christi celebration in Spain but honestly folks, do you really want your baby to be jumped over by El Colacho or an innocuous clown or even stunt superstar Evel Knievel himself? Heck not my baby. Whatever the origins of this bizarre ritual is, it certainly smacks not of religiosity but stupidity or perhaps stupid religiosity. A slight misstep can result in a mishap that could kill these hapless babies like flies being smashed by a flyswatter. It looks like fun of course but I bet you, there are those in the crowd who believe that this human kangaroo dressed in a clown’s attire is actually immunizing the babies from the curse of the evil spirits. Why can’t people rid of their ancestral superstitious beliefs when they know it defies logic and common sense?

My pet peeve are those email chain letters that forebodes someone’s doom should he fail to circulate the message to 10 other people. What on earth do these self appointed prophets think they can achieve by behaving in a threatening, apocalyptic manner? Whenever I receive such emails, I drag them to the wastebasket. There are also those relic fanatics who would venerate anything that resembles the face of Christ – be it hamburger patty, a cloud formation or a splatter of ink on paper. Why the penchant for such vague speculations? Legends and superstitions are one thing but when integrated with religion it becomes debilitating as it promotes stagnation, immobilizing people to explore and enjoy the beauty of this world, imprisoning them in their folly.

“ I cried out to God asking only his decision, Gabriel stands and confirms I created my own prison” … from the song My Own Prison by CREED.

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19 Responses

  1. Curiously, a lot of the traditional religious practices today are derived from paganistic rites.

  2. This ritual might have originated from the great plague who knows. It is quite scary for the infants though.

  3. Sngl – society has evolved both socially and economically and it’s surprising to think that superstitions and rituals die hard if not carried over the generations.

  4. Irrealis – this ritual may not fly in many countries. The risk to the babies is just too high and the law would ban it.

  5. At least they don’t have their babies run with the bulls… hehehe.

    I like what you said about “those relic fanatics who would venerate anything that resembles the face of Christ…”

    You’re right, anything integrated with religion is indeed debilitating, if not outright scary, especially if it has political influence. As they say, a cult is nothing more than a religious group without political power.

  6. That Spanish bull run is extreme sports man. I guess the bragging line would be … yeah, I was gored by a bull but I survived.

    It’s interesting that when I think that that I no longer had to entertain thoughts about aswang, kapre, mananaggal, barang, maligno, atbp.. when I left RP and lived in another country, I ask myself – why the heck were we thinking about these things back home?

  7. I’m sure those creatures hardly cross your mind these days being a modern day Canadian that you are, but what about those “native” Canadians (not sure if you would refer to them as Indians as those in America or aborigines as in Australia).

    Nonetheless, I think those creatures are somewhat hardwired into our universal consciousness or as Carl Jung would say, “collective subconscious.” Our aswangs might be the gentile’s middle earth people.

    I do however relish the wide eye wonder of young children in the provinces as they compete in telling me stories about how someone they know had encountered an aswang, manananggal, dwende or kapre. Interestingly enough, such stories would be told starting at twilight, or as they say the time in which “the others” come out to claim the grounds as their own.

  8. poor babies. they are not aware of what might happen to them if there had been a miscalculated step or something.

    ey! can i link you up? 🙂

  9. there are a lot more grotesque practices in the world. born not out of paganistic rituals only but of pure love for the bizarre.

  10. Truly bizzare,..I can’t believe this is actually happening in this day and time. I am pretty certain that this kind of practice had emanated from pagan european rituals. Also, this reminds me of a very queer and much more bizzare practice by some Hindu practitioners, even to this day, where when a man dies, the wife goes with him to burn in the funeral pyre.

  11. Hay, the things men do out of misbelief…. Amazing sometimes.

    I would love to witness this baby-jumping tradition, though, if only for journalistic reasons.

  12. Senor Enrique – you touched good point. Many native or aboriginal people have converted to other religions. In the reservation I go fishing up north, I see Christian cemeteries inside the reservation.
    For the most part those who have converted to Christianity would have departed from their traditional earth worship. I would be interested to know if these folks had integrated their nature worship into Christian rituals much like what RP had done to its own version of Catholicism which appear to be distinctly different than Catholicism say in canada or the US for that matter.

  13. Tin- sadly, only one miscalculation is need to put a stop to this dangerous ritual.. My pleasure if you wish to link me.

  14. Bing – re love for the bizzare, Ann Rice, the famous occult writer had actually lived in a house in New Orleans that typified an occult enthusiast- eerie, scary – almost in harmony with the devil and darkness. She was into the occult sub-culture and made money writing books that appealed to those who are into it.I guess the difference is you can love and hate Ann Rice but her occult sub-culture has not pervaded society.

  15. Major Tom – traditions are truly unique and every country has its own extreme version. The scary part is if such traditions are mixed with religion and ingrained in people’s thoughts and practices. Case in point, the El Colacho baby jumping exorcism ritual is held during the Corpus Christi annual celebration, a Catholic feast. Seems very odd indeed, to me at least.

  16. Jayred – very true and sometimes unfathomable.

    The baby jumping spectale had been a tourist attraction for many years but hopping over two or three rows of babies much like a bike hopping over tow or three rows of cars, I personally feel that the lives of these babies are at risk!

  17. Yes, of course, BW. It’s kinda surprising that the babies’ parents are willing to put their kids’ lives on the line here for the sake of tradition.

  18. I also can’t imagine why parents would volunteer their babies to participate in this ritual. Even animals in the wild have that instinct to protect their young.

    As for those emails, I don’t even read them anymore. I just delete them right away.

  19. Yep – those darn emails really make me sick!

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