Famous dance of the stilts in which eight young men throw themselves on some 45 cm stilts, going around on a cobbled slope called Cuesta de los danzadores.
It is not possible to say exactly what the origin of the Confraternity of the Holy Cross is. San Vicente de la Sonsierra has maintained this custom throughout these centuries, being the last and only manifestation of the penitential rite, by means of scourging, which remains in Spain where, until the 18th century, it was a relatively frequent practice in towns and cities.
Whoever decides to be disciplined goes to the headquarters of the Brotherhood located in the chapel of San Juan de la Cerca and tells one of the brothers. If he meets the conditions, he goes up to the reserved area of the Brotherhood when the person accompanying him indicates it. There he will dress with the white habit of the disciplinarian: white tunic up to the knee with a posterior opening in form of T, white cincture tied to the waist, hood of equal material, to hide the identity of the person, discipline or cotton skein made by the brotherhood and brown cape with a white cross in the back.
Already dressed in the habit, he will go to the procession or the Holy Hour, kneel before the passage to which he has made the offering (generally before “la Dolorosa” or the “Monument” in the church), say a prayer and, when he stands up, the companion will remove the cape from his shoulders and open the opening in his back. The disciplinarian will take the skein by the handle with both hands and, swinging it between his legs, will hit his back over his shoulder alternately, to the left and right, for a variable time depending on each disciplinarian, but usually about 20 minutes and between 800 and 1000 hits, until the companion and the pilot decide when it is time to be punctured.
At this point, he will bend over and place his head between the legs of the pilot, who will lightly hit him three times on each side of his back, in the lumbar area, so that a little blood will flow, which will prevent further discomfort, but never to further mortify or increase suffering. Then he will hit himself 15 or 20 more times.
The utensil traditionally used for “chopping” is called a “sponge” and consists of a ball of virgin wax with 6 crystals incrusted two by two, so that each disciplinarian will receive 12 punctures.
Once the penitence is over, the disciplinarian and his companion return to the confraternity where the practitioner washes him and heals the small wounds with rosemary water.