Patum de Berga

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Patum de Berga

The Patum de Berga (Catalan pronunciation: [pəˈtum də ˈβɛrɣə]), or simply La Patum, is a popular and traditional festival that is celebrated each year in the Catalan city of Berga during Corpus Christi. It consists of a series of "dances" (balls) by townspeople dressed as mystical and symbolical figures, and accompanied either by the rhythm of a drum—the tabal, whose sound gives the festival its name—or band music. The balls are marked by their solemnity and their ample use of fire and pyrotechnics.

It was declared a Traditional Festival of National Interest by the Generalitat de Catalunya in 1983, and as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2005.

Balls[edit]

  • Els Turcs i Cavallets (Turks and Little Knights)
  • Les Maces
  • Les Guites (Folkloric "mules")
  • L'Àliga (The Eagle)
  • Els Nans Vells (The Old Dwarfs)
  • Els Gegants (The Giants)
  • Els Nans Nous (The New Dwarfs)
  • Els Plens

Origins and significance[edit]

"La Patum" has its origins in pre-Christian celebrations of the Summer solstice, which were recycled and given new symbolism by the Catholic Church as part of its Corpus celebrations. In Berga, the earliest conserved reference to a Corpus procession is May 20, 1454[1]. The festival evolved and incorporated more elements popular and religious theater in the Middle Ages, leading to a unique combination of giants, devils, angels, moors, and other bizarre-looking characters.

Despite the religious significance of Corpus Christi, and the Patum's descent from "eucharistic performances," in its present form it is rather a show of popular theater. It is unique in Catalonia

Anthropologists and specialists in folklore have been interested in La Patum.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]