This human tower building competition is like nothing you’ve ever seen

Every year people flock to the Catalonia region of Spain and compete to build human towers.

These towers are know as Castells and each can involve as many as 400 people. The aim of the game is to build the tallest tower without falling, a task that’s easier said than done. The tradition dates back to the 18th century and its origins can be found in Tarragona.

The sash (faixa) is the most important part of their outfit, since it supports the lower back.

(Source: Emilio Morenatti/Assosiated Press)
(Source: Emilio Morenatti/Assosiated Press)

The motto of Castellers is “Força, equilibri, valor i seny” (Strength, balance, courage and common sense), something you would need in abundance. Fatal accidents do occur, such as on July 23, 2006, in Mataró a young casteller fell off the formation of a castell and died.

The highest “castell” in history was a 10 floor structure with 3 people in each floor.

This type of tradition is absent from American society and it’s not difficult to see why. It’s hard to imagine this taking place in a country with 15 million civil lawsuits a year; I leave the sadness of this notion to the individual.


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