Gigantes y cabezudos

Many Spanish and Portuguese festivals include costumed figures known as gigantes y cabezudos, roughly, "Giants and Big-Heads"; in portuguese gigantones e cabeçudos; in Valencian, "Gegants i cabuts"; in Catalan, gegants i capgrossos; or in Basque, "erraldoi eta buruhandiak". The main feature of these figures is typically their papier maché head; bodies are covered in clothing matching the costume's theme.


Gigantes pamplona jorge urdanoz
Gigantes of Pamplona, Spain
Els Gegants de Lleida
The Giants of Lleida, Spain

The giants are usually hollow figures several meters tall, with a painted paper maché head and arms, the rest of the body being covered in cloth and other clothing. Their frame is usually made of wood or aluminum, with carton-pierre—a mixture of papier-mâché and plaster of paris— used to make the head and hands. The frame of the body is hidden by cloth, and the arms typically have no structural element to allow them to swing in the air when the giant is turned.

Within the frame is an individual controlling the giant. He carries a harness on his shoulder that is linked to the internal structure, and will move and shake the giant in a dance, usually accompanied by a local marching band. Typically, these dances will include at least two giants, the male gigante and the female giantess, called giganta or gigantona, though some towns have multiple couples.

The figures usually depict archetypes of the town, such as the bourgeois and the peasant woman, or historical figures of local relevance, such as a founding king and queen, or pairs of Moorish and Christian nobles.


Cabezudos are smaller figures, usually to the human scale, that feature an oversized, carton-pierre head. The heads are worn with a matching costume. The person dressed as cabezudo will use one hand to hold his head, while the other hand carries a whip or pig bladder, used to frighten children or young women. Seeing through the "mouth" of the head, he will chase after these people, though he might pause to calm a frightened child.

As with the giants, the cabezudos typically represent archetypes of their town.

Other fiesta figures

Bonecos gigantes
Bonecos d'Olinda, Olinda, Brazil


Gigantes y cabezudos is also the title of an 1898 zarzuela, with music by Manuel Fernández Caballero, set in Saragossa and featuring a contemporary event: the Spanish army's return from the disastrous defeat of the Cuban War of Independence. The action unfolds during the festival of the Fiestas del Pilar, and concludes with a rousing jota focusing on the stereotypically strong, hardy character of the Aragonese, comparing them to the ever-battling "Gigantes" and "Cabezudos".


Gigantes de San Vicente

Gigantes of Barakaldo, Spain


Couples of the gigantes from Zaragoza dancing under the noon sun in June 2005 in Ayerbe, Spain

Burgos gigantones 3

Couple of gigantes representing Africa and America, Burgos, Spain


Couple of GiantsGayant and Marie Cagenon, Douai, France

See also

External links

Fiestas del Pilar

The Fiestas del Pilar are an annual festival celebrated in the city of Zaragoza, Aragon, in honour of the patron saint of the city, the Virgen del Pilar (Our Lady of the Pillar).

The week long festival takes places every year, usually, beginning the weekend of or before 12 October, and lasts until the following Sunday.A wide variety of events are organized by the City Hall, with private companies and organizations organizing their own sponsored events, shows, contests, and other activities.

While veneration of the Blessed Virgin in Zaragoza can be traced to at least the 12th century, the introduction of 12 October as the local feast day in remembrance of the Marian apparition was introduced by the city council in 1640, and approved by the Holy See in 1723.

The national holiday of Spain, first introduced in 1918 and confirmed for the contemporary Spanish state in 1982, also falls on 12 October, chosen for the date of the discovery of the Americas (in the USA known as Columbus Day).

Género chico

Género chico (literally, "little genre") is a Spanish genre of short, light plays with music. It is a major branch of zarzuela, Spain's form of popular music theatre with dialogue, and differs from zarzuela grande and most other operatic forms both in its brevity and by being aimed at audiences of a wide social spectrum.


A Joalduna is a traditional character of the culture of Navarre, especially in some small villages of the north of Navarre: Ituren and Zubieta. His function is to shake some cowbells to warn people about the arrival of the carnivals, which are celebrated annually on the last weekend of January.

Jota (music)

The jota (Spanish: [ˈxota]; Valencian: [ˈdʒɔta]; Aragonese: hota [ˈxota] or ixota [iˈʃota]; Asturian: xota [ˈʃota]; Galician: xota [ˈʃɔta]; old Spanish spelling: xota) is a genre of music and the associated dance known throughout Spain, most likely originating in Aragon. It varies by region, having a characteristic form in Aragon (where it is the most important), Catalonia, Castile, Navarre, Cantabria, Asturias, Galicia, La Rioja, Murcia and Eastern Andalusia. Being a visual representation, the jota is danced and sung accompanied by castanets, and the interpreters tend to wear regional costumes. In Valencia, the jota was once danced during interment ceremonies.The jota tends to have a 34 rhythm, although some authors maintain that the 68 is better adapted to the poetic and choreographic structure. For their interpretation, guitars, bandurrias, lutes, dulzaina, and drums are used in the Castilian style, while the Galicians use bagpipes, drums, and bombos. Theatrical versions are sung and danced with regional costumes and castanets, though such things are not used when dancing the jota in less formal settings. The content of the songs is quite diverse, from patriotism to religion to sexual exploits. In addition to this, the songs also have the effect of helping to generate a sense of local identity and cohesion.

The steps have an appearance not unlike that of the waltz, though in the case of the jota, there is much more variation. Furthermore, the lyrics tend to be written in eight-syllable quartets, with assonance in the first and third verses.

La Mare de Déu de la Salut Festival

The Festivity of La Mare de Déu de la Salut is a festival celebrated in Algemesí (close to Valencia city), Spain, in August 29–September 8. The festival is in honour of the patron saint of Algemesí, La Mare de Déu de la Salut, and has been dated back to 1247.

The holiday was awarded the UNESCO "Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity" designation on November 28, 2011.

List of Spanish films before 1930

A list of the earliest films produced in the Cinema of Spain, ordered by year of release from 1897 to 1929. For an alphabetical list of articles on Spanish films, see Category:Spanish films.

Manuel Fernández Caballero

Manuel Fernández Caballero (Murcia, 14 March 1835 – Madrid, 26 February 1906) was a Spanish composer, notably of zarzuelas.His works were seminal works in the young Género chico form of zarzuela. The success of Los bandos de villafrita (1884) consolidated his career. Its sequel was Las grandes figuras (1885). The sainete El dúo de La Africana and its celebrated jota No cantes más La Africana remain as classic examples of a zarzuela duette.

Pig bladder

Pig bladder (also pig's bladder) is the urinary bladder of a domestic pig, similar to the human urinary bladder. Today, this hollow organ has various applications in medicine, and in traditional cuisines and customs. Historically, the pig bladder had several additional uses, all based on its properties as a lightweight, stretchable container that could be filled and tied off.

Plácido Domingo

José Plácido Domingo Embil (; Spanish: [xoˈse ˈplaθiðo doˈmiŋɡo emˈbil]; born 21 January 1941) is a Spanish opera singer, conductor, and arts administrator. He has recorded over a hundred complete operas and is well known for his versatility, regularly performing in Italian, French, German, Spanish, English and Russian in the most prestigious opera houses in the world. Although primarily a lirico-spinto tenor for most of his career, especially popular for his Cavaradossi, Hoffmann, Don José, and Canio, he quickly moved into more dramatic roles, becoming the most acclaimed Otello of his generation. In the early 2010s, he transitioned from the tenor repertory into almost exclusively baritone parts, most notably Simon Boccanegra. He has performed 149 different roles.

Domingo has also achieved significant success as a crossover artist, especially in the genres of Latin and popular music. In addition to winning fourteen Grammy and Latin Grammy Awards, several of his records have gone silver, gold, platinum and multi-platinum. His first pop album, Perhaps Love (1981), spread his fame beyond the opera world. The title song, performed as a duet with country and folk singer John Denver, has sold almost four million copies and helped lead to numerous television appearances for the tenor. He also starred in many cinematically released and televised opera movies, particularly under the direction of Franco Zeffirelli. In 1990, he began singing with fellow tenors Luciano Pavarotti and José Carreras as part of The Three Tenors. The first Three Tenors recording became the best-selling classical album of all time.Growing up working in his parents' zarzuela company in Mexico, Domingo has since regularly promoted this form of Spanish opera. He also increasingly conducts operas and concerts and is the general director of the Los Angeles Opera in California as of 2017. He was initially the artistic director and later general director of the Washington National Opera from 1996–2011. He has been involved in numerous humanitarian works, as well as efforts to help young opera singers, including starting and running the international singing competition, Operalia.

Processional giants and dragons in Belgium and France

The processional giants and dragons (French: Géants et dragons processionnels) of Belgium and France are a set of folkloric manifestations which have been inscribed by UNESCO on the lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2008, originally proclaimed in November 2005.

Through these festivals and their giants, this concerns the set of gigantic manifestations specific to each country. In the case of Belgium, these are the festivities of Dendermonde (Ommegang van Dendermonde), Mechelen (Ommegang van Mechelen), Mons (the ducasse, and the fight which is named the "Lumeçon"), Ath (the ducasse) and Brussels (the Meyboom). For France, these are the feasts at Douai (feasts of Gayant) and Cassel (carnival) and the totemic animals and their celebrations in Tarascon and Pézenas (mardi gras, inauguration of the Mirondela dels Arts on the first Sunday in July).

This proclamation allows for a valorization of these popular festivals and their protection.

The processional giant is a gigantic figure that represents a fictitious or real being. Inherited from medieval rites, tradition has it that it is carried, and that it dances in the streets during processions or festivals. Its physiognomy and size are variable, and its name-giving varies according to the regions; among the Flemings, it is known by the name of Reuze, among the Picards it is called Gayant.

Repertoire of Plácido Domingo

Spanish tenor Plácido Domingo has sung 150 roles in Italian, French, German, English, Spanish and Russian. His main repertoire however is Italian (Otello, Cavaradossi in Tosca, Don Carlo, Des Grieux in Manon Lescaut, Dick Johnson in La fanciulla del West, Radames in Aida), French (Faust, Werther, Don José in Carmen, Samson in Samson et Dalila), and German (Lohengrin, Parsifal, and Siegmund in Die Walküre). Domingo currently continues to add more operas to his repertoire. Since 2009, he has moved substantially into the baritone repertoire, especially focusing on Verdi baritone roles. In 2015, he made his most recent debuts as Macbeth at the Berliner Staatsoper, Don Carlo in Ernani at the Metropolitan Opera, and Gianni Schicchi at the Los Angeles Opera. Tim Page, a Pulitzer Prize-winner for music criticism, described Domingo in a 1996 Washington Post article as "the most versatile, intelligent and altogether accomplished operatic tenor now before the public."Domingo's official repertoire list includes all of his operatic roles on stage and recordings, as well as his zarzuela and operetta debuts made in opera houses and on recordings since his operatic debut on 23 September 1959. One exception to this is Arturo in Donizetti's opera, Lucia di Lammermoor, in which he made his role debut on 28 October 1961 in Guadalajara, Mexico and his U.S. operatic debut on 16 November of the same year at Dallas Civic Opera in Dallas, Texas. The only other exception is his performance as Antonio in Cano's modern opera, Luna, in which he appeared on an abridged recording in 1997 and in a concert performance at the Palau de la Música de València on 15 May 1998.

The official list does not include his previous roles in zarzuelas or musicals with his parents' company or theaters in Mexico prior to September 1959, nor does it include his performance as the Spanish painter Francisco Goya in the musical, Goya: A Life in Song, which he recorded in both English and Spanish-language versions. It also contains only a fraction of his sung symphonic works, excluding his performances of the tenor parts in Verdi and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Requiems and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, Missa Solemnis, and Christus am Ölberge, among others. Some small parts sung during the same performance are listed as only one role. Danilo in The Merry Widow is listed twice: once together with Camille in a Spanish-language translation early in his career and later alone in English translation at the Metropolitan Opera. Domingo alternated the parts of Camille and Danilo during his first run of the operetta at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in 1960.

Roberto Gerhard

Robert Gerhard i Ottenwaelder (Catalan pronunciation: [ruˈβɛɾd ʒəˈɾaɾt]; 25 September 1896 – 5 January 1970) was a Spanish Catalan composer and musical scholar and writer, generally known outside Catalonia as Roberto Gerhard.

Salvador Videgain Gómez

Salvador Videgain Gómez (1845–1906) was a Spanish actor, singer, producer and composer.

San Fermín

The festival of San Fermín is a week-long, historically rooted celebration held annually in the city of Pamplona, Navarra , Spain.

The celebrations start at noon on the sixth of July, when the party starts with the setting off the pyrotechnic chupinazo, and continue until midnight, on the fourteenth of July, with the singing of the Pobre de Mí. While its most famous event is the encierro, or the running of the bulls, at 8:00 AM from July 7 to 14, the festival involves many other traditional and folkloric events. It is known locally as Sanfermines and is held in honor of Saint Fermin, the co-patron of Navarre. Its events were central to the plot of The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway, which brought it to the general attention of English-speaking people. It has become probably the most internationally renowned fiesta in Spain. Over 1,000,000 people come to participate in this festival.

Spanish mythology

Spanish mythology refers to the sacred myths of the cultures of Spain. They include Galician mythology, Asturian mythology, Cantabrian mythology, Catalan mythology, Lusitanian mythology and Basque mythology. They also include the myths and religions of the Celts, Celtiberians, Iberians, Milesians, Carthaginians, Suebi, Visigoths, Spaniards, Moors of Spain, and some Roman and Greek mythology.

The Amazing Race 10

The Amazing Race 10 is the tenth installment of the US reality television show The Amazing Race. The Amazing Race 10 features twelve teams of two with a pre-existing relationship in a race around the world.

Professional models Tyler Denk and James Branaman were the winners of this season. A DVD was released on May 1, 2013, courtesy of Amazon's CreateSpace program.


Zaragoza (, Spanish: [θaɾaˈɣoθa]; also called Saragossa in English) is the capital city of the Zaragoza province and of the autonomous community of Aragon, Spain. It lies by the Ebro river and its tributaries, the Huerva and the Gállego, roughly in the center of both Aragon and the Ebro basin.

On 1 September 2010 the population of the city of Zaragoza was 701,090, within its administrative limits on a land area of 1,062.64 square kilometres (410.29 square miles), ranking fifth in Spain. It is the 32nd most populous municipality in the European Union. The population of the metropolitan area was estimated in 2006 at 783,763 inhabitants. The municipality is home to more than 50 percent of the Aragonese population.

The city lies at an elevation of 199 metres (653 feet) above sea level.

Zaragoza hosted Expo 2008 in the summer of 2008, a world's fair on water and sustainable development. It was also a candidate for the European Capital of Culture in 2012.

The city is famous for its folklore, local gastronomy, and landmarks such as the Basílica del Pilar, La Seo Cathedral and the Aljafería Palace.

Together with La Seo and the Aljafería, several other buildings form part of the Mudéjar Architecture of Aragon which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Fiestas del Pilar are among the most celebrated festivals in Spain.


Zarzuela (Spanish pronunciation: [θaɾˈθwela]) is a Spanish lyric-dramatic genre that alternates between spoken and sung scenes, the latter incorporating operatic and popular songs, as well as dance. The etymology of the name is uncertain, but some propose it may derive from the name of a Royal hunting lodge, the Palacio de la Zarzuela near Madrid, where, allegedly, this type of entertainment was first presented to the court. The palace was named after the place called "La Zarzuela" because of the profusion of brambles (zarzas) that grew there, and so the festivities held within the walls became known as "Zarzuelas".

There are two main forms of zarzuela: Baroque zarzuela (c. 1630–1750), the earliest style, and Romantic zarzuela (c. 1850–1950), which can be further divided into two. Main subgenres are género grande and género chico, although other sub-divisions exist.

Zarzuela spread to the Spanish colonies, and many Hispanic countries – notably Cuba – developed their own traditions. There is also a strong tradition in the Philippines where it is also known as sarswela/sarsuela. Other regional and linguistic variants in Spain include the Basque zartzuela and the Catalan sarsuela.

A masque-like musical theatre had existed in Spain since the time of Juan del Encina. The zarzuela genre was innovative in giving a dramatic function to the musical numbers, which were integrated into the argument of the work. Dances and choruses were incorporated as well as solo and ensemble numbers, all to orchestral accompaniment.

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