Way of St. James
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A MIÑA VIAXE
Pleasant and absurd. This is what this festival is like. It originated in 1948, the result of the sense of humour of a group of friends who responded humorously to an initiative of the Vilagarcía de Arousa Navy Command to raffle, on the occasion of the Carmen festival (patron saint of sailors), a dorna boat, traditional to the area. These friends said that they had won the dorna and they invited the town to its launch. They appeared with a 50-centimetre scale model and a bottle of distilled water and named the boat “Virgen del Carmen”. Then, with a small record player, they held a dance in a Ribeira bar. And they began to celebrate the anniversary of this launch every year...
Until today, when, thanks to the “Royal and Illustrious Brotherhood of Dorna” cultural association, which develops various activities in favour of maritime culture, the Festa da Dorna and its Dorneira clubs, in charge of presenting the show to the public, have achieved enormous recognition and popularity in the region of O Barbanza, and so the festivities begin a few days before.
The “star” event, unique and surprising due to the imagination and genius of the participants, is the “Feitas á Machada e Propulsion Rejata de Embarcasiones a Pan de Millo. Jran Premio Cutre Sark”, which tests the construction capacity of the participating clubs, their skill, inventiveness and humour. It is celebrated on the morning of the 24th, on Coroso beach, very close to the place where the traditional pilgrimage takes place, with wine and sardine tasting, enlivened with bagpipes and brass bands.
In the afternoon, the long-awaited “Top Secret” takes place, in which the most current character or theme to which homage is paid each year is discovered. The 6,000 or 7,000 people who parade through the streets of the entire town are living proof of the popular fervour for this festival. The massive human tide ends at the Paseo do Malecón, where the Concerto Fin de Festa takes place.
The Caderno de Bitácora, which contains the programme of events for the festival, written with the particularities of Galician speech (gheada - debuccalisation- and seseo - where z is often pronounced as an s), and contains criticisms and allusions to current affairs with large doses of irony and sarcasm.
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