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Juan Pelotero and the Saints

An authentically traditional fiesta. Every year on December 28, the Day of the Innocents, “Juan Pelotero”, a traditional popular XV century Calasparrian character, takes to the streets of Calasparra with his gang..

“Juan Pelotero” and “the Innocent Saints” pass through the streets dressed in grotesque costumes. Their faces are painted blue and Juan Pelotero carries a stick with a ball attached by a string. Traditionally he demands: “Give it up or I will give you one” at any passer-by who will either run away or give him some change before he moves on to another. There are organised groups who try and take the “pelotero” (stick and ball) away from Juan and his gang, grab them and bath them in the fountain..

juan pelotero y los inocentes - 20081229 - 01

juan pelotero y los inocentes - 20081229 - 02


“The Innocent Saints” are two men with overcoats and outlandish top hats. Their faces are also painted blue. They carry a control rod in their hands, a very old book and a quill of turkey feather in order to play the part of Judge and Clerk. As they pass through the streets they sanction people for any imaginable thing, write the crime down in the book and collect the fine.
In reality they are a grotesque reincarnation of the Municipal Authority. The gang includes stilt walkers in costume and other characters in strange attire. The Money collected goes to a local charity.

navidad 2011 3