Alternate definition: human towers created by Catalans. Start with a wide base of people, the pinya, to support the base and act as a cushion if the tower collapses. Then add força, equilibri, valor i seny (strength, balance, courage, and common sense), and continue the tower upward on the shoulders of the layer below. Make each layer lighter and smaller until the smallest, most fearless child with a helmet, called the enxaneta (the rider), shimmies to the top and raises a hand to show that the tower is carregat (complete). As soon as that little hand stretches skyward, the process of descarregat continues as each layer slides down the layer below them like fireman on a pole. All the while, the audience is on edge, hoping for the success of the castellers, cheering when all is done molt bé (very well), gasping when the tower wobbles, and giving polite applause for a good intent.
These photos were taken in Barcelona for the Diada castellera in Plaça de Sant Jaume on the last day of La Mercè, September 24, 2013.