Ourense, Capital of Carnival
Put on a disguise and prepare your mask. Go out and enjoy. Just relax. Have fun, Become someone else. The Entroido has arrived to Ourense and the city is full of colour and music. Everything is ready for you.
The Entroido, our particular way of living the Carnival, is perhaps the most joyful, colorful and crazy festival of all those celebrated in Ourense (and there are a lot!). These are days and nights of music, costumes, laughter and long meals among friends. A top celebration whose roots are lost in time and that in Ourense is lived with passion: for something we are the Capital of Carnival in Galicia.
In addition to the urban Entroido, five days of uninterrupted party in the street where there are many brass bands, troupes and parades, the city is the perfect starting point to discover the different carnivals of the province. Especially significant are those of Laza, Verín, Xinzo de Limia, Maceda, Viana do Bolo and Manzaneda, all of them declared as tourist attractions and in which the colours of their unique masks stand out: Verín’s cigarróns, Laza’s peliqueiros, Xinzo’s pantallas… In the city, neighborhoods and villages also have their own traditions and characters, such as the masks of the “Pita de Eiroás”, the “Paquita and Nicanor” dolls in Seixalbo, which are taken out in procession, or , already in the neighborhood of A Ponte, the friars of «Frei Canedo».
In Ourense the celebrations start officially on Friday 9th, being the most crowded nights Saturday and especially Monday (Tuesday is a local holiday), although many people soon begin to warm up on both Godfathers’ and Godmothers’ Thursdays (the late being the most multitudinous, official prologue of the Entroido), or even with the so-called Pottery Sunday. The celebrations end on Ash Wednesday with the traditional Burial of the Sardine, when the city mourns to dismiss, until next year, one of its most beloved feasts.
Here you have a calendar with the most important dates of the Entroido in the city, so you don’t lose anything. Also, remember that in our agenda http://visita.ourense.gal you have detailed (and geolocated) information about each of the programmed activities:
- Sunday, February 4th – Domingo Oleiro (Pottery Sunday) in the nuclei of As Eiroás and Seixalbo, where the ancient “xogo da ola” (pottery game) is celebrated. In Seixalbo, in addition, Paquita and Nicanor, protagonists of the Entroido of this beautiful medieval village, are welcomed.
- Thursday, February 8th – Jueves de Comadres (Godmothers’ Thursday), a night traditionally reserved for women. Dinners of friends, dancing and a lot of ease for the “unofficial” start of the Entroido.
- Sunday, February 11th – Domingo de Entroido, when the traditional procession of troupes and floats is celebrated and the King / Queen of the Entroido is elected each year.
- Wednesday, February 14th – Entierro de la Sardina (Burial of the Sardine); from 20:00 a concentration of mourning widows will accompany the sardine until its burning, symbol of the end of the Entroido.
Gastronomy is very important in Ourense’s Entroido. The characteristic product of these dates are ears: they can be sweet, a dessert made with eggs and flour; but also pork ears, cooked and seasoned with salt and paprika. This is the time to make succulent stews: a good Galician stew should carry pork meat such as cap, tooth, backbone, and ham; sausages of meat and onions; potatoes, cabbage or turnip tops and chickpeas. The androllas and the botelo are also traditional. Carnival desserts include crepes, sponge cake and king cake.