Ourense Fetivals, Carnivals and fiestas

Ourense probably has fewer festivals than the other three Galician provinces and this almost certainly has more to do with its geographical size than anything else. That said, many of the fiestas that it does have are highly colourful and in particular those involving the "peliqueiros".

Peliqueiros, Cigarrons and Boteiros

The "peliqueiros" (known as Cigarrons in the town of Verin and Boteiros in the area of Viana do Bolo) are a collection of carnival and fiesta characters that appear in the Ourense festivals of "Xinzo de Limia", "Viana do Bolo", and the fiestas at "Laza" and " "Erin". These characters appear during carnival time or "entroido" and take to the streets to the accompaniment of loud music, usually in the form of drums and percussion.

The "peliqueiros" are highly colourful and immediately recognizable through the bright distinguished costumes and elaborate masks that they wear. The exact history of these festival characters has been long since forgotten, but they are mythical, possibly connected to farming celebrations and encompass customs that go back to the medieval and Baroque periods. The masks that they wear are carved of wood and then painted and differ in appearance across the different towns of the province. During the "entroido", the "peliqueiros" run around town and make as much noise as possible, some may bang on a drum, others may have bells attached to them. The masks that they wear may be humorous and amusing or, as in the case of the quot;boteiros", quite sinister and frightening. People travel from all over Galicia to see fiestas featuring the "peliqueiros".

The "entroido" carnivals take place in Lent or the commencement of spring.

Other Ourense Festival activities

In addition to the masked characters described above, Ourense's festivals also center around food and drink and some of the festival activities you may encounter include: Dressing up as a bull called a ":Morena":, eating a pigs stomach stuffed with pork known as ":Androlla": and having flour throwing fights. The activities are all light hearted, but do have some symbolic meaning, although in many instances this has been lost in the past.

A list of Ourense Fiestas

Back to the main Ourense overview page.

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