The town of Luco de Jiloca is well known during the last decade for the recovery of one of the most popular festivities in Comarca del Jiloca: the Carnival of Luco de Jiloca. A tradition in which its inhabitants dress up of different characters (zarragones, devils and madamas) and they run after their neighbors and visitors through the streets that come those days to visit the village and know its popular and curious tradition.
In this fiesta, recovered in 2003, three groups of grotesque characters, enlivened by dulzaineros (musician playing pipes), fill the streets of Luco during the Carnival days, strengthening the participation of the neighbours and providing the town with a singular character.
Among the three groups, these are the most important ones with a stronger tradition in the fiesta. With a happy character and grotesque, its symbolism is unknown as it is a tradition that have been passing through generations.
Its traditional clothing consist on covering all their body with sackcloths, and also cover their face with a mask. They dressed up with an old jacket and over it the sackcloth. Between both fabric layers, a stuffed with straw or a cushion is inserted forming a big hump to deform their figure.
By means of a rope around their waist, several cowbells are threaded in the back side. As a complement, they carry a long stick with a rabbit skin spreaded with grease at the end of it.
The devils, are antagonistic characters to the zarragones as they represent the sad, dark and sinister side. It was usual to see them at night frightening the neighbours of the town.
Their attire consist on dressing up with an old dark tunic on the bottom side and on the upper part, a white loose shirt or a smock. They paint their faces totally in black by using charred sticks and cover their head with a beret or a hat.
To deform even more their features, they used to put artificial teeth made on potatoes that made their faces unrecognizable.
Finally, they take big scissors that were used to shear the sheep and cattle, opening and closing them continuously to make a sinister noise.
The Madamas, considered the female version of the carnival in Luco, used to participate with the purpose of defend their rights in order to move away of the sexist society at that time.
Regarding to traditional clothing, there are two differenced groups, as reported:
• Women of the lower classes of the town, used to dress up by putting a small chair on the top of their head and over it, they put a quilt or a big clothing, that, in a way of a tunic, it covered their entire head and body.
• The neighbours of upper classes used to dress up with flashy dresses and ornaments, in order to show off their power and wealth respect to other women of the town.