Another part of the festivities during the week long celebrations of Girona's patron saint Sant Narcis are various exhibitions of castellers. These are teams from different towns of Catalonia that "compete" in the building of human castles in the air. It all starts with a base of big beefy men dressed in their white canvas pants with a big black sash around their waists and usually coloured shirt and a scarf on their heads. From this solid base several more layers are added progressively and can get as high as 9 or 10 people with each layer perched on the shoulders of the one below. Usually as the castle gets higher the size of the people climbing gets smaller with only young children used in the final assault of the top where they have to stay still and raise one arm above their head to claim the completed castle and then come down again in reverse order without the whole edifice collapsing.
The skills are several; strength of the base and all the supporting layers, speed of completion to avoid undue stress and dexterity of climbing up the backs and shoulders of the various layers hooking their bare feet into the sashes to get footholds. Not all end in success and the crowd usually rushes in to catch any falling participants if one collapses.
It is a spectacular sight and accompanied with typical Catalan music at the same time raises the pulse every time.