Holy sheep! More than a thousand sheep and goats filled this street.

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(AP) — The traditional Spanish Festival of Transhumance returned to the streets of Madrid on Sunday, after being cancelled the year before due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than a thousand sheep and goats filled the street, diverting traffic away from the city centre.

The festival, which has taken place since 1994, is a traditional event which sees thousands of sheep “clogging” the main roads of the capital.

The event claims the role of transhumance and extensive livestock farming as a tool for conserving biodiversity and fighting climate change.

Traditional festival dancer, Nati Fernandez said there was “no doubt this is a special year” due to the last one being cancelled.

“We are not as many as usual due to people still being afraid, but every year this is a real party,” he added.

The festival is also a protest, which aims to call on authorities to protect Spain’s 125,000 kilometres (78,000 miles) of paths used for the seasonal movement of livestock between different grazing grounds around the country.

Shepherds look after the ancient grazing routes, some of which are more than 800 years old.

Many worry that the routes are being destroyed by the construction of housing and roads.

For Madrid resident, Loli Lopez, this festival is very touching.

“My father was a shepherd so this bring me memories of when we have them (sheep) at home,” she said.

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