AP PHOTOS: Devils, bandits romp at Carnival in Spanish towns

A man plays a horn as “momotxorros ” take part in a carnival wearing typical attire, in Alsasua, northern Spain, Tuesday, March 5, 2019. During the carnival “momotxorros” characters, who seem to have been resurrected from a prehistoric ritual, come out onto the streets wearing horns and hiding their faces under headscarves while dressed in a white sheet stained with blood. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

ALSASUA, Spain (AP) — Dozens of devil-like figures dance and convulse at the sound of cowbells, chasing onlookers with pitchforks in Alsasua as part of this northern Spanish town’s Carnival.

The head of a ram decorates the place where “momotxorros ” celebrate a carnival in Alsasua, northern Spain, Tuesday, March 5, 2019. During the carnival “momotxorros” characters, who seem to have been resurrected from a prehistoric ritual, come out onto the streets wearing horns and hiding their faces under headscarves while dressed in a white sheet stained with blood. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

Alsasua is one of several villages in this remote region in the foothills of Pyrenees Mountains that still honor these colorful local festivities whose origin in unknown.

Called “momotxorros” in the Basque language, these half-human and half-animal creatures display the skin of sheep on their backs and white long pieces of sheets stained with bright-red animal blood on the front.

A typical carnival dress known as a “momotxorro” lies on the ground, in Alsasua, northern Spain, Tuesday, March 5, 2019. During the carnival “momotxorros” characters, who seem to have been resurrected from a prehistoric ritual, come out onto the streets wearing horns and hiding their faces under headscarves while dressed in a white sheet stained with blood. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

The heads are topped with the horns of a bull over a basket normally used for agricultural produce, and horsehair covers the faces of anonymous revelers taking part in the riotous celebration.

In this fashion, the “momotxorros” dance around bonfires and roam the cobbled streets of this town of 7,500 until everybody converges in a central square for a grand finale in which everyone dances in a big circle. By then, they are joined by other mythical characters including a billy goat, known locally as an “akerra” — representing the devil — and lascivious “sorginak,” or witches.

A “momotxorro” covers his face with blood while taking part in a carnival in Alsasua, northern Spain, Tuesday, March 5, 2019. During the carnival “momotxorros” characters, who seem to have been resurrected from a prehistoric ritual, come out onto the streets wearing horns and hiding their faces under headscarves while dressed in a white sheet stained with blood. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

In the nearby village of Lesaka, residents dress up as the traditional Carnival characters “Zaku Zaharrak,” meaning “old sack” in the local Basque language. After sunset, covering their faces with white handkerchiefs, stuffed into sacks full of straw, and holding a stick with an inflated animal’s bladder used to hit people, the Zaku Zaharrak characters parade for hours through the village dancing and singing while a band plays music.

Young “momotxorros ” prepare to take part in a carnival wearing typical carnival attire in Alsasua, northern Spain, Tuesday, March 5, 2019. During the carnival momotxorros characters, who seem to have been resurrected from a prehistoric ritual, come out onto the streets wearing horns and hiding their faces under headscarves while dressed in a white sheet stained with blood. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

Meanwhile, the townsfolk of the village of Lantz parade a giant “Miel Otxin”, a legendary bandit and symbol of their Carnival festivities. The straw filling the “Miel Otxin” doll is removed and burnt.

People dressed as the traditional carnival characters “Zaku Zaharrak,” or old sack, in Basque language, take part in a carnival parade in the small Pyrenean village of Lesaka, northern Spain, Sunday, March 3, 2019. After sunset, covering their faces with white handkerchiefs, stuffed into sacks full of straw, and holding a stick with an inflated animal’s bladder used to hit people, the “Zaku Zaharrak” characters parade for hours through the village dancing and singing while a band plays music. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

These traditions have been celebrated for centuries, days before the official start of Lent, the 40-day period when Christians around the world prepare to mark Easter, the remembrance of Jesus’ death.

People prepare to take part in an ancient rural carnival in the small Pyrenees village of Lantz, northern Spain, Sunday, March 3, 2019. The carnival is a long-standing rural tradition in which the forces of good and evil confront each other in a symbolic battle. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

They were banned during the 1939-1975 dictatorship of Gen. Francisco Franco in Spain, but have been revived since the early 1990s.

___

Aritz Parra contributed to this story from Madrid.

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11 thoughts on “AP PHOTOS: Devils, bandits romp at Carnival in Spanish towns

  1. They are truly horrible pictures, the celebration of evil.
    Cna’t these people see they represent evil??
    Mind boggling!

    Maranatha
    Christine

    • Thanks for your comment Christine!

      My first thoughts were as yours, why in the world are they celebrating the devil?!!! Then I thought that perhaps they are not celebrating evil but the fight between good and evil. However, scripture does not tell us to celebrate these things, nor does it tell us to dress up like demons or to dress our children up like demons! It goes to show what is going on in the world around us, that people celebrate things that they really don’t understand, that they do it out of tradition rather than the love for God Almighty!

      I have been reprimanded in the past for posting about the Satanic ritual of Carnival in Brazil. This person told me that I was way off base, that just because people are celebrating does not make it evil in and of itself. However, all you have to do is take a look at the pictures and you can see that it is evil! Women dancing naked in the streets, people drinking to get drunk, not to mention the floats in the parade, many of which represent evil such as Medusa, ect., idols, idols, idols!

      This reminds me of what is happening at the Vatican, when the Pope invited all religions to come and worship together! What was he thinking?!!! We cannot meld together Christianity with any other religion, we cannot worship God and at the same time be worshiping false gods. We serve one of two masters, either Jesus Christ or Satan not both at the same time. But such is not the case in the world, the Pope is attempting to bring all religions together under the same umbrella, to unite them into one religion, sound familiar? The time is soon coming for a One World Religion and perhaps the current Pope will be it’s leader.

      God bless! Maranatha!

      • I agree with you. Any which way you look at this doesn’t reflect the goodness of God’s love. Shows instead the worship of something sinister. Man made tradition passed down through the ages. Sad we can’t seem to grasp God’s beauty but hold on to the opposite.
        I also agree, the Pope’s connecting all religions through ‘mother Mary’, in which she’s held in high esteem by almost all, as more superior than Christ Himself, if that is even possible. She’s ‘helping’ him save sinners. Jesus is our only mediator to the Father. No one else gets you to the throne room of The Father, but Him. Yet, it’s disheartening that organized religion fail to teach this basic truth. No saint, no patriarch, no ‘feel good’ pastor/minister, not Mary, not the Pope or any before him. Only through Christ, He is the way, the truth & life.
        Come Lord Jesus, come. Help us realize You’re our only Sovereignty. In Your name, Amen.

        Thank you for shining light in the darkness. Blessings to you.

      • Thanks for your comment SweetJava!

        This is the deception of the world leading people to believe in things which take our eyes off of the truth, off of Jesus Christ as our only means of salvation.

        It’s sort of funny you mention Mary as being revered by even other religions. I believe that she will be used as a major hook to pull people into the One World Religion by the Pope and we see it happening in real time!

        God bless! Maranatha!

      • Oh yes, those ‘with eyes to see’ can see it. I agree with you.
        We are united through Christ alone. His Spirit in us unites us. She should be remembered as the pious woman favored by God, by not worshiped.
        Sad that Jesus was the one who died and resurrected yet, the vessel the Father used to become part human (one of us), is the one worshiped by most. God save us from the errors of traditions.

        Blessings always. Maranatha!

      • Thanks for your comment Aida!

        I’m not sure what you mean that its sad that Jesus is the one worshiped by most?

        God bless! Maranatha!

      • I’m sorry for the confusion, I was talking about Mary being worshiped YET it was our Lord who died and resurrected.

        I meant how sad that mother Mary is exalted, idolized all over the world, THEN our Lord who died for us. She is always pictured with baby Jesus, meaning she’s the adult and He the infant. Where in actuality it’s the reverse. “She should be remembered BUT not worshiped.” The only inter-mediator is our Lord Jesus Christ. I hope this clears the blurriness.

        Blessings always! Maranatha!

      • Thanks Aida!

        I didn’t want to jump to any conclusions that’s why I asked. I see how so many people around the world idolize and worship Mary, and I believe that it comes from the Catholic church. Not only do they idolize Mary but also saints and the Pope! They lead people away from worshiping Christ the only one to be worshiped, they worship the created over the Creator! And this is the way of the world, worshiping creation instead of the Creator Jesus Christ. And the Pope even believes that all religions worship the same God, at least that is what he said: “We all worship the same God”. This is the leader of the Catholic church saying these things, leading the world to believe lies, attempting to bring the world together under one united religion, a false religion! This is a major sign of the end times, deception from evil spirits dressed as angels of light!

        God bless! Maranatha!

  2. My thoughts exactly. I found this article that you might find interesting https://reformationcharlotte.org/2019/03/14/we-shouldnt-assume-catholics-are-christians/ . I feel it captures what we both agree on.
    The holiness and divinity of Christ were proved by the fact He rose in glory ( paraph. Rm1:4+), “Taken up in glory’, i.e. at the ascension..

    May this day and everyday following bring you abundant blessings, my friend. Maranatha!

    • Thanks for your comment Aida!

      That article states what both of us said, they worship Mary and the saints, they worship the Pope, and they even worship bread and wine! I once asked a friend of mine who is Catholic if she ever repented of her sins and asked Jesus Christ to be her Lord and Savior, she looked at me as if I were stupid and said: “it’s a given!” What does that even mean: “It’s a given?” Do they just assume that they have done this because of their works? I don’t know, but she didn’t want to discuss it any further, and she seemed to be upset with me for even asking!

      It’s evil portrayed as good, darkness as light, woe to those who replace evil for good and good for evil, woe! (Isaiah 5:20)

      God bless! Maranatha!

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