Galicia sits on the northwest of Spain and it is well known for its rugged coastlines, historic cities and rolling green scenery, not to mention the best seafood in Spain. Traditions are important and there are numerous festivals addressing the many cultures that have left an imprint in this land. Here are some of the best festivals in Galicia.
A Rapa das Bestas, Wild horse mane-cutting festival.
A 400-year-old festival that takes place in Sabucedo, Pontevedra. Hundreds of wild horses are rounded up from the mountains where they live most of the year. The animals are then herded into a small arena and they not only have their manes trimmed but also get branded. All this with no harm for animals or humans!. Watch: https://youtu.be/c-zTtrakVi0
Desembarco Vikingo Catoira, Viking festival.
Vikings attacked Galicia on several occasions in the past. The remains of some defensive buildings are the stage for this event which reenacts the landing of the Vikings on these parts. Around 200 men with skirts, horned helmets, swords and shields raid the town of Catoira to find their loot: Barrels of red wine! Watch: https://youtu.be/pXZnfWaD6mA
Festa da Auga, Water festival.
This refreshing festival started spontaneously in the hot summer of 1984. That year, during the patron saint festivities, the pilgrims were exhausted and began to ask for water from the neighbors who watched the celebration from their balconies. One of the neighbors threw a glass of water and soon was followed by others. All this water throwing ended up becoming a tradition that grew with time. Today, for approximately three hours water-hydrants, buckets, sprayers, water pistols, hoses and fire engines are used to throw water into the crowd. Want to get soaked? Watch: https://youtu.be/cannAd64ct0
Arde Lucus, Roman festival.
Lugo, is one of four provinces of Galicia. Well known for its impressive Roman wall which was declared a World Heritage Site, the city celebrates this Roman Festival in June. It returns to its Roman roots to revive the founding of the city and people take to the streets dressed in Roman clothes. Watch: https://youtu.be/OriZHCaX2Oc
Carnival in Galicia is the time to have fun and indulge before Lent. Its origins go back to Celtic rituals to celebrate the arrival of Spring. Some of the oldest Carnival festivals take place in the province of Ourense, in the towns of Xinzo de Limia, and Verín. Got your costume ready? Watch: https://youtu.be/bVJnZcLUw2g