"In Greek mythology, the Labyrinth (Greek λαβύρινθος labyrinthos) was an elaborate structure designed and built by the legendary artificer Daedalus for King Minos of Crete at the palace Knossos.
Its function was to hold Minos’s son, Minotaur, a mythical creature that was half man and half bull.
Daedalus had so cunningly made the Labyrinth that he could barely escape it after he built it.
Every nine years, Minos made King Aegeus pick seven young boys and seven young girls to be sent to Daedalus's creation, the Labyrinth, to be eaten by the Minotaur.
After his death, Minos became a judge of the dead in the underworld. The Minoan civilization of Crete has been named after him by the archaeologist Arthur Evans.
In colloquial English, labyrinth is generally synonymous with maze, but many contemporary scholars observe a distinction between the two: maze refers to a complex branching (multicursal) puzzle with choices of path and direction; while a single-path (unicursal) labyrinth has only a single, non-branching path, which leads to the center. A labyrinth in this sense has an unambiguous route to the center and back and is not designed to be difficult to navigate.”
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Spain Held Its Annual Devil Baby Jumping Festival
The Spanish village of Castrillo de Murcia held its annual baby jumping festival on Sunday, which involves men dressed as devils leaping over newborns in the street.
El Salto del Colacho, or the devil’s jump, celebrates the Catholic feast of Corpus Christi. This particular town, near Burgos in northern Spain, has been marking the occasion with this bizarre tradition every year since 1620. This year’s feast fell on June 19 and the El Colacho festivities culminate on the following Sunday.
Newborns are sprinkled with confetti and flower petals before being laid out on mattresses where men dressed in a yellow and red suits run and hurdle over them. The practice is meant to cleanse the infants of original sin and protect them from future evils. Afterwards, the town is also said to be cleansed of original sin.
The devil figure also chases and whips onlookers in the village.
The Corpus Christi feast is a major holiday in Spain honoring Jesus’ body and blood, and celebrating his presence at the Eucharist. In this religious tradition the Eucharist is usually celebrated by a solemn procession carrying the body of Christ through the streets. Castrillo de Murcia is the only village that celebrates the feast by men dressed as devils jumping over wailing infants.
Although no babies were harmed, the celebration is controversial for its lax safety precautions and Spanish priests have also distanced themselves from it.
But in a country where the torture and public killing of a bull is a national pastime, baby jumping might not be the strangest ceremony. Semana Santa, or the Holy Week before Easter, is marked in Andalusia with creepy pointed-hood-wearing penitents marching through the streets and swinging incense.
Then there’s goat throwing, where every January a live animal was thrown 50 feet from the top of church tower in the village of Manganeses de la Polvorosa, and caught in a sheet at the bottom. This tradition was banned in 2002, however, and this year a soft toy goat was hurled off the church instead.
Follow Olivia Becker on Twitter: @obecker928
All photos by Getty Images
Via: Vice News
Daria Tuminas defines herself as both a photographer and a folklorist. Working from Amsterdam, she uses the myths and legends that grow up in small towns and villages to tell deeply personal stories, and glimpse the fairy-tale world that lurks beneath the surface of country life in Russia. Photograph: Daria Tuminas