July is festival time in many places of Galicia. Religion, gastronomy, tradition and music form part of a programme that has once again been affected by the covid, meaning that a good number of celebrations of tourist interest have had to be suspended. However, the offer of these towns and villages is not limited to festivities, but also includes heritage, nature, ethnography and other interesting attractions. Do you want to discover them?
Barnacles and seafaring atmosphere
Located in the heart of the Costa da Morte, Corme is a seaside town famous for its barnacles and for the festival that takes place there every year in July. The tastiest specimens come from O Roncudo, an area that the percebeiros (barnacle shellfishers) reserve with great care for special dates. The twenty-eighth edition of the festival, scheduled for Saturday 10th, will not be able to take place due to the limitations still caused by the covid, but the town has many attractions to offer to those who wish to visit it. In addition to the seafaring atmosphere that permeates its streets and port, Corme is a popular destination for beaches such as A Arnela, Osmo and A Ermida and for beautiful landscapes such as those around the cape and the Roncudo lighthouse with its impressive crosses in memory of the victims of the sea.
Festive memories of the Middle Ages
The memory of the annual fair that King Henry IV authorised the inhabitants of Betanzos to hold in the 15th century prompted, almost a quarter of a century ago, the recovery of the spirit of that market in a festive key. Thus began the Feira Franca Medieval de Betanzos, an event that since then has brought together gastronomy, crafts, music, exhibitions and other diverse proposals on the second weekend of July. To avoid crowds this year there will be no Feira as such, but there will be some smaller activities to ensure security measures against the covid. Several guided tours and musical performances will take place during these days in a town that boasts an extensive heritage, a beautiful old quarter and, of course, its famous tortillas.
Fervour and festivities in San Benitiño de Lérez
There are many places in Galicia where San Benito enjoys great devotion. The celebrations organised in his honour bring together crowds of the faithful, who come in pilgrimage to participate in a day of devotion and festivities and to pray to the saint to make use of his miraculous properties against skin diseases. This mixture of fervour, tradition and festivity reaches its peak in the Pontevedra parish of Lérez, where the monastery of San Salvador is the setting for one of the most popular celebrations in the whole province. There are two dates on which the faithful flock to the monastery: 21 March, when it is celebrated as San Benito de invierno (Saint Benedict of Winter), and 11 July. A figure of San Benito presides over the impressive Baroque façade of the church of this monastery founded in the 10th century and whose premises were visited by illustrious intellectuals such as the fathers Feijoo and Sarmiento.
A town with a taste of octopus
Tasting octopus is a delicious gastronomic activity that can be enjoyed practically anywhere in Galicia. Localities all over the region have turned it into a dish that cannot be missing in any traditional celebration, a few of them have made it the central axis of their monographic festivities and some of them even boast of giving its name to a recipe. The latter is the case of Mugardos where they accompany the rich cephalopod with a sauce made with peppers, paprika, onion and white wine, among other ingredients, and where every July they celebrate their Festa do Polbo. This year, the festivities have been suspended again, so the thirtieth edition of the festival will have to wait until 2022, but it will certainly you be possible to savour its most famous dish in the local restaurants.
Scallops among vineyards
To speak of Cambados is to speak of Albariño and of the famous monographic celebration that takes place every year between July and August. But wine is not the only product of the local gastronomy that this town in the Rías Baixas boasts. Two decades ago, Cambados began to celebrate a festival dedicated to the scallop and although the scarcity of the product, in 2019, and the covid in 2020 and this year, have caused its cancellation, it is always a good time to come to the capital of Albariño and enjoy its many charms. The council also shares some recipes (https://cambados.es/es/gastronomia-2/recetas-vieiras/) so that anyone who wants to celebrate their own scallop festival can do so from home.
Music and much more
Up to 100,000 people have gathered in the town of Ortigueira to take part in a musical event whose fame goes beyond borders. The Festival Internacional do Mundo Celta de Ortigueira has been bringing together audiences from all over the world for more than four decades in the far north of Galicia to enjoy live performances by the most important artists and groups on the international folk music scene. It is precisely this great ability to attract people that has led to the festival being suspended in 2020 and 2021 due to covid, but its organisers promise to return in 2022 with the longest edition in its history (from 10 to 17 July) and an extensive programme that will compensate for this long wait. In the meantime, Ortigueira continues to offer visitors an unbeatable combination of beaches, cliffs, heritage, hiking and other activities for all ages.
Callos to celebrate Saint Cristopher
Who said that callos (tripe) is not for the summer? Certainly not the residents of the Vimianzo parish of Carnés. There, this calorific dish is the star of a centuries-old celebration that takes place every 9 July, on the eve of the festivities in honour of the patron saint of the place, Saint Christopher. The Faguía de Carnés dates back to the beginning of the 17th century, when the brotherhood was founded and continues to organise the events today, although this year there will be no celebration. The Cerca, the stone enclosure erected 200 years ago around the local church to host the festival and prevent any uninvited guests from sneaking in, will not be overflowing with joy or the frenetic comings and goings of pots full of tripe, but visiting this place located in the heart of the Costa da Morte and the Terra de Soneira region allows you to discover a multitude of places of great natural value and buildings of enormous historical and heritage importance.