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Spain: Transhumance festival celebrates centuries-old tradition of seasonal livestock migration03:51

Spain: Transhumance festival celebrates centuries-old tradition of seasonal livestock migration

Spain, Madrid
October 24, 2022 at 12:23 GMT +00:00 · Published

More than 1,000 sheep crossed downtown Madrid during the annual Transhumance festival on Sunday. 

Shepherds guided their flocks of sheep and goats through the streets to give visibility to traditions and in defence of ancient grazing and migration rights.

Called ‘Fiesta de la Transhumancia’ (Transhumance Festival), it takes place in the city every autumn (usually end of October) since 1994. During the celebration, hordes of sheep (sometimes bulls and horses) are preceded by a parade of traditionally dressed ranchers, who play instruments, sing and dance, keeping the beat with castanets.

Wooden shoes are also an important part of the dance ritual, which pays tribute to the pastors who wear them to navigate muddy fields in the past.

Idealised by the Association of Transhumance and Nature, the annual sheep march also happened in other countries such as Italy and France, aiming to celebrate the centuries-old tradition of seasonal livestock migration for the winter months.

Spain: Transhumance festival celebrates centuries-old tradition of seasonal livestock migration03:51
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More than 1,000 sheep crossed downtown Madrid during the annual Transhumance festival on Sunday. 

Shepherds guided their flocks of sheep and goats through the streets to give visibility to traditions and in defence of ancient grazing and migration rights.

Called ‘Fiesta de la Transhumancia’ (Transhumance Festival), it takes place in the city every autumn (usually end of October) since 1994. During the celebration, hordes of sheep (sometimes bulls and horses) are preceded by a parade of traditionally dressed ranchers, who play instruments, sing and dance, keeping the beat with castanets.

Wooden shoes are also an important part of the dance ritual, which pays tribute to the pastors who wear them to navigate muddy fields in the past.

Idealised by the Association of Transhumance and Nature, the annual sheep march also happened in other countries such as Italy and France, aiming to celebrate the centuries-old tradition of seasonal livestock migration for the winter months.