Sheep Fill the Streets of Madrid On Annual Migration of Shepherds
Spain is a country rich in history, and so perhaps it’s not surprising to see pastoral and agricultural traditions carried on in the face of modernization.
How they are carried on though will give someone a start, like seeing thousands of sheep clog the roads of the capital of Madrid, en route to winter pastures.
As sure as Pamplona has the Running of the Bulls, Madrid has its own traditional day. Spanish law allows farmers to use ancient migration routes regardless of how those routes have changed overtime, and in 1994 it became clear that meant putting rush hour on hold to cross animals from the north down to the warmer south of the country.
The roads were alive, writes Reuters, with the sound of bells, as thousands of onlookers snapped photos and brought their city-dwelling kids to see the yearly spectacle, which was cancelled last year due to COVID-19.
Shepherds guided their flocks in traditional dress, while some played music and others danced.
Children used to seeing traffic jams and hearing car horns got a joyful reminder of the sights and sounds of the countryside during the event, where it’s easy to stand close enough to touch the sheep as they go by.