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Photo of big head at Tournament of Roses Parade

The New Orleans Big Head float at the Tournament of Roses Parade, 2008. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

There are more places than you would think that are into big heads. The Tournament of Roses Parade (above) comes to mind. Portland’s Rose Festival (my home town) comes to mind too. New Orleans, Ann Arbor, Vancouver – they all have parades with big heads. It’s a Big Head epidemic.

But Pasadena et. al. have nothing on Girona. An example: Pasadena’s Tournament of Roses is 125 years old. Girona has been parading big heads since 1513 – five hundred years! Girona stores its big heads and hauls them out for faràndulas – street art celebrations involving parades, dancing, music, and … big heads. There have been faràndulas over the years for weddings, births, the conquering of enemies – whatever strikes the Girona civic leaders as an appropriate occasion for big heads (and parades, and dancing, and music…).

This month, the Girona Museum of History gathered some of their best big heads and placed them on exhibit. We visited the museum the other day and share our experience below: