Every morning during San Fermin 2023 we have one of the most heart-warming parades in town. It is the parade of the Giants and the Big Heads, or, as we call them, Gigantes y Cabezudos.
This parade starts and ends at the Central Bus Station, just in front of the Citadelle. They will dance their way through the old town.
I personally prefer to watch this parade in the old quarter. It is tighter and the sights of the giants overwhelm you.
They are easy to find. There are hundreds of families waiting. The children are stressed but happy, the parents and uncles have a big smile remembering their childhood, and the grandparents relax understanding that the next generation will love this parade as much as they did when they were kids and they still do now that they are much older.
The parade is open by the Big Heads.
There are 3 sets of them:
- zaldikos (or the horse men), watch out for them, they will hit you with a sponge and they will have no mercy with you, no matter your age, sex, nationality ….
- Cabezudos: they walk very serious representing the good people in our society, our Major, a Japanese couple .. These ones will not hit you, they will shake your hand and walk away.
- Kilikis: the best ones in the world, they represent the bad people, they will hit you and make children cry and run like crazy. Check for Caravinagre (Vinegar face), he is the rock star in town. By the way, notice that all of them are wearing the 3-peak hat representing the French. That shows the love we have for the French, ja ja, ja.
After the big heads come the Giants. Four sets of royals that represent each continent according to the XIX century vision. They walk with the knowledge of being loved at the rhythm of txistus and tamborils (flutes and drums).
Every 100 meters more or less, they stop and dance, well they do not just dance, they float. They are so big, but yet so graceful, that they make me shiver.
Check their hands, your will see hundreds of pacifiers, this is a great tradition, when a kid is ready to get rid of the pacifier, they hand it to their favourite king or queen and they will take care of it and show the world that this child has grown up and doesn’t need a pacifier any more.
Children feel proud of growing up and for us the parents, it is the sweetest way to get rid of the pacifier.
To me it is a must every year to see them and if I don’t get to see them minimum once a year, I feel that I am missing something.
I JUST LOVE THEM.