August festivities

North, south, east, west, anywhere on the planet Galicia there is something to celebrate in August. We have a lot of fairs (festas and romarías): many dedicated to a virgin or a saint, others about some local gastronomy product, or even to another moment in history… Here come the best parties in August! (all of them of tourist interest, of course).

On the 1st we started with the original Romaría de San Fins do Castro (Pilgrimage of San Fins do Castro), in Cesullas, Cabana de Bergantiños, famous for the “dry watercress”, the burning of the Holy of Gunpowder and the miraculous fountain, with water that makes warts disappear. On the 2nd the Festa do Albariño begins in Cambados (2-6), with its booths, tastings, the Wine Tunnel, ladies and gentlemen, prizes…

At the beginning of the month the festivals dedicated to peppers coincide: Festa do pemento de Herbón de Padrón (5), of which some are hot and others are not; the Festa do pemento da Arnoia (4-6), and the Festa do pemento de Oímbra (6), with larger and sweeter peppers.

Pepper first and tortilla second. We go to Silleda, to the Romaría da Tortilla de Laro (4-6), in Carballeira del Castro, with tasting, music, contest… and bus service, a nice detail. And more food at the Festa das Sopas de burro (5) in Muíños, with the carrilanas championship included, on a day in which the galo pica or chan (rooster pokes the ground) and the O Xurés calf are also tasted. The roosters of O Pino also have a festival: the Festa do Galo Piñeiro e Mostra cabalar (5-6), where the roosters go to a contest and are also eaten, and there are equestrian shows and a Celtic festival.

If we are more of fish, we cannot miss the Burela Tuna Fair (5-6), with exquisite tastings in the port. Without leaving Mariña Lucense, the International Migrant Folk Festival (5), in Barreiros, is filled with traditions from all over the world. In Ribadeo they also draw on tradition in the Xira de Santa Cruz or Bagpipe Day and Romaría a Santa Cruz (5-6), as well as in the Pardiñas Festival (4-6) in Guitiriz, which bears the subtitle of “music and art fair and festival”, and where groups from all over come together, craft shows, book fairs, exhibitions, poetry recitals… and, most singularly: the Traditional Music Instrument Craftsmen Show. On the other hand, in Seoane do Courel, the Filandón de Músicas do Courel (6) is celebrated, this year dedicated to the memory of Xesús Galán López, with performances by singers, toasties, bagpipers… and samples of O Courel products.

A wonderful way to round off the first week of August is to be a Viking at the Romaría viquinga de Catoira (1-6), with theatre, Viking food, landing in the Towers of Oeste … We also have an excuse to dress up as a period person in the Mondoñedo Medieval Market (11-13), with a great tournament, Celtic horse riding, archery, and other medieval things.

The Festas do Monte (7-15) in A Guarda last the entire second week of August, although the big day is Sunday, when the sailor bands go up the Santa Trega hill. This second week many delicacies are eaten, for example, the Festival of the dry lamprey of Arbo (11-13); at the Vilanova de Arousa Mussel and Cockle Festival (11-13), or at the O Carballiño Octopus Festival (13), this year dedicated to the Camino Miñoto. In the Festa da Carballeira de Zas (11-12) they also eat a lot of mussels, among music, tradition and folklore.

At this time, on the coast of Lugo, there are two important celebrations: the Fiesta de San Lorenzo, in Foz (8-10), with top-notch fireworks, and A Maruxaina (12) in San Cibrao, around the legend of A Maruxaina, mermaid? witch? fairy?, which is subjected to popular trial and always acquitted.

In mid-August, the undisputed king of the festivities is San Roque. He is honored at the Festa de San Roque de Betanzos (14-25), with pilgrimages and tours of the caneiros; at the Festa de San Roque de Sada (16), with sardines near the beach; in the Festa de San Roque de Vilagarcía de Arousa (16), in which after the procession comes the Fiesta del Agua or in O Hío Ancestral dances of San Roque (16) with the dance of gallants and ladies in front of the transept.

Another summer saint is the Virgen del Carmen, patron saint of sailors. Although the festivity is in July, Laxe pays homage to him in The shipwreck of Laxe (17), a staging of a shipwreck, which ends in gratitude to the Virgin and in a marine procession.

The empanada is very popular in all celebrations, and even has a special day in Silleda, at the Festa da empanada de Bandeira (19). The ham was not going to be less, and it has its tribute in the Festa do Xamón da Cañiza (15), in the Carballeira do Cacharado and, the clam, five days later, in Vilagarcía, in the Festa da ameixa de Carril (20). On the same day we can go to the Soutelo de Montes Bagpiper Festival (19), in Forcarei, with a lot of concerts and feasts in the Carballeira de Venezuela. The bagpipes also sound working in the fields: the Festival of the traditional mesh of Lalín (19), in the region of O Deza.

The sport also has a place in August, with the International Descent of the Miño, in Tui (19), a competition for federated canoeists, which has its fun version in the popular descent, on the same day. And from Miño to Ulla. Who doesn’t fancy some eels and a drink of brandy? Well, let’s run to the Festa da anguía e Mostra da caña do país in Valga (19-27), where we can taste many recipes, traditional spirits, queimadas… By the way, there is also this in Cervo, in the popular Queimada (19), with a traditional market, spells and the burning of the scarecrow. Better a little wine? In Ribadavia there is a good ribeiro, which is also taken in August at the Feira da Istoria (25-26), a full-fledged return to the Judeo-medieval past. We will even have to buy in maravedíes! In Salvaterra, wine is also important, so it has a celebration: the Festa do Viño do Condado de Tea (25-27), which takes place inside the fortress.

Agricultural tasks also have their homage in August, for example, in the Folión de carros de Chantada (26) or in the Festa da malla de Meira (27). Also in the province of Lugo, the Romaría do Naseiro in Viveiro (25-29) is held at the end, with a descent of the river in crazy boats.

And we end the month of revelry with the Romaría de San Ramón de Bealo, in Boiro (31), the patron saint of women in labor, one of the oldest festivals in Galicia, in the Os Outeiriños field, where we find petroglyphs in the shape of a snake, a symbol of fertility, indicating that the tradition dates back to ancient times.

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