Heads turn as 'Running the Goose' festival kicks off in El Carpio de Tajo

Revellers gathered in the Spanish town of El Carpio de Tajo on Wednesday to watch the 'Running the Goose' festival in which horse riders pull the heads of hanging geese. In the festivities, which date back over 400 years, geese are hanged by their feet from a thick rope stretched across the town's square as mounted jockeys attempt to yank the birds' head off as they ride by. The celebration is... Еще held in honour of the legendary appearance of Santiago at the Battle of Navas de Tolosa in 1212, sparking a Christian victory over the Moors. The geese represent the Moors, who ruled much of Spain for more than 700 years. This festival has been heavily criticised for reproducing animal cruelty and efforts to abolish the tradition have been made by neighbouring towns despite the geese being dead before the ceremony.

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