This Sunday the folks in Manganeses de la Polyvorosa, Spain, will be gathering to celebrate the patron Saint Vincent with a most unusual tradition; throwing a goat out of a 15 meter high Church tower.
No one knows exactly when/ how this tradition started, but it has been going on for generations, and the origins are speculated to be from when Saint Vincent himself came to visit the area. The well loved lad would travel through the countryside with his goat. He would give the goat’s milk to the poor and needy. One day the goat ended up in the church bell tower, possibly having followed St. Vincent or else was looking for food, when the bells went off and the extremely startled goat leapt out of the window. Luckily there were some townsfolk under the tower who managed to catch the goat. Possibly with a blanket they were holding out. How convenient.
Regardless, all variations of the legend have one thing in common; a goat flying out of the window.
Not surprisingly, this tradition has raised more than a few eyebrows and has many animal rights activists shaking their angry fists. The goat-throwing aspect of the celebration was put on hiatus for a few years, but now seems to be returning and will (in theory) be celebrated this year.
If you would like to partake in the festivities then make your way over to Northern Spain to watch a bound goat be tossed out of a church and caught in a tarp. It’ll make an interesting story at your next cocktail party…
When: January 27th, 2013 (last Sunday in January)
Where: Manganeses de la Polyvorosa, Spain