Os Maios, Festival of Tourist Interest

The first weekend of May, with the celebration of the traditional festival of Os Maios, is the ideal time to make a getaway and discover Ourense in spring.

Any time of the year is good to escape to Ourense, but undoubtedly spring has a special charm, with mild temperatures, longer days and nature in all its splendour. Precisely nature is the protagonist of the celebrations with which the city welcomes this season: the festival of Os Maios, which has been declared a Festival of Tourist Interest in Galicia.

Celebrated on the first Sunday of May, this festival heralds the splendour of the flowers and bids farewell to the harsh winter. Of uncertain origin, the rite has been celebrated since ancient times in several places in Galicia, although the Ourense festival has an outstanding and singular character.

This Sunday, May 1st, from 11:30 in the morning, the vegetal sculptures handmade with moss, flowers and oak-galls will occupy the whole Paseo street displaying their traditional (pyramidal) or artistic forms. These figures or maios will always be accompanied by the singing of couplets: satirical verses on current political and social issues that tradition dictates to be sold in exchange for a small fee.

Starting at noon, a parade of big heads accompanied by bagpipers will enliven the festive day while the juries assess the participants ( €15,000 in prizes will be distributed). The party will continue into the afternoon with the award ceremony and the singing of the finalist songs in the Jardines de Padre Feijoo at 6:00 p.m. and a performance by a traditional music group at 7:00 p.m.

Os Maios are, without a doubt, one of the most deep-rooted and colorful traditions in Ourense, and will be day of celebration and fun for everyone. In addition, that same day, as it is the first Sunday of the month, the Main Square will also host the antiques market, a flea market with the smell of old that will make the curious and nostalgic shoppers fall in love with its furniture, ceramics, philately, numismatics… The annual edition of the Craft Fair will also coincide: an ideal opportunity to find unique pieces, made by hand, with love and a lot of skill.

Maios, markets… Add to that the abundant local gastronomic offer with seasonal products, a cultural agenda full of shows and entertainment (such as the Jazz Festival, classical music concerts or the University Theatre Festival), the thermal baths at this time of the year being at an ideal temperature to take a bath, and that the arrival of the AVE high-speed train has made the city has so close and well connected… and you’ll come to agree that Ourense is the ideal destination for a springtime weekend getaway. Come and discover this city, the Heart of the Camino.