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Check out the outlandish outfits from this ancient festival in Spain

Check out the outlandish outfits from this ancient festival in Spain

As festivals go, this is definitely one of the stranger ones. The villages of Ituren and Zubieta in northern Spain have just had their annual pagan carnival, and it was certainly eyecatching.

It is considered to be one of the most ancient carnivals in Europe, dating from before the Roman Empire, and its traditions are pretty far removed from modern life.

Groups of people called Joaldunak from both of the villages parade through the streets in full ancient regalia. We’re talking lace petticoats, sheepskins, coloured neckerchiefs, conical caps – the works.

Spain carnival
(Alvaro Barrientos/AP)

 

Spain carnival
(Alvaro Barrientos/AP)

 

The Joaldunak are bellringers who perform a ritual dance to ward off evil spirits at the beginning of spring.

Spain carnival
(Alvaro Barrientos/AP)

 

The carnival takes place in the mountains of the Pyrenees, which makes for a pretty stunning backdrop.

Spain carnival
(Alvaro Barrientos/AP)

 

It’s not all hard work though: luckily this group of Joaldunaks called Zanpantzar got to have a bit of a rest and a drink to keep their strength up.

Spain carnival
(Alvaro Barrientos/AP)

 

Probably a good thing too – we can’t imagine carrying that bell around is light work.

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