Spanish cities and towns have got their
own Giants. But perhaps there are none
better than those of Pamplona. (Without
false modesty ! ) They are four enormous
pairs - each pair is a king and queen
- and they are about four metres in height.
They represent "the four parts of
the world" : Europe, Africa, Asia,
and America. (It seems that they didn't
They are not very old - they were made
in 1860 to substitute others which had
become run down. So they continue a tradition
whose roots have been lost in time past.
are made of a light wooden structure and
richly dressed in elegant clothing. The
bearer enters from behind and lifts the
structure onto his shoulders.
These "Kings and Queens" also
have an entourage. There are five "cabezudos"
who accompany them, made up of a Mayor,
A Councillor, A Grandmother and two Japanese
figures. There is also an entourage of
six "kilikis" who are there
to "protect" the Royalty. These
figures have a name, Barbas, Patata, Verrugón,
Coleta, Caravinagre and Napoleon.
"kilikis" carry paper-foil rods
and their favourite pastime is chasing
after any young children who line the
route to see the Giants.
If the glasses of your daughter or son
are broken by one of those kilikis don´t
worry about it. There is a special insurance
for these cases.
You have to
talk to the head of the comparsa and reclaim
from the City Council. It seems to be very usual.
Any kiddie up to the age of six or seven is
their prey and their grim paper-maché
faces have given nightmares to many generations
of toddlers in Pamplona.
To complete the entourage there are six "zaldikos'
- half-men, half-horse- who also sometimes take
it into their heads to "attack" any
innocent young children along the route.
WHAT THEY DO
All this entourage is known as the "Comparsa"
and they can be seen at various times of the
day parading in the streets, surround by young
children, parents, grandparents and the populace
in general, all dancing to the sound of the
"gaita". The Giants are also continually
dancing, be it, waltzes, polkas, jotas or whatever,
and from their height of four meters its a sight
They also take part in most of the official
functions, such as the Procession, The "Chupinazo"
etc. Check the official program to find out
when they are in the streets.
THE GIANTS AND THE CHILDREN
They say that the
Giants are for the children but more
than one adult has a lump in his throat
when he looks on the Giants during the
Fiesta, if only because it brings back
memories of a long-lost innocent childhood.
There are not many people in Pamplona
who haven't got their childhood photo
taken with the Giants even if they are
caught in the act of crying at the moment
of the snap.
TO THE GIANTS
moving is the final farewell to the Giants
on the 14th of July. They are stacked
away in storage on that day in a basement
of the Bus Station. This sad event takes
place between 2.00 and 2.30 in the afternoon
and is worth seeing. Thousands of kiddies
gather to say goodbye to them for another
long year. (They only come out at San
Fermin, save some other very special and