Festa do Boi

The main event of this festival is the ox races
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Despite its age, the Festa do Boi also had its interruptions. The last one took place in the 50s. Until a group of young people from the Allaric region decided in 1983 to revive a forgotten festival that has its roots in the 14th century, a time in which a Jewish colony, who had such a strong presence in the town, lived in Allariz, enduring contempt from the Christians. History tells us that in 1317 an Allarican nobleman with deep religious convictions called Xan de Arzúa wanted to put an end to the ridicule and insults from the Jews as the Corpus Christi procession passed, thus responding to the constant Christian harassment, and to do so he led the procession on the back of an ox, loaded with sacks with ants that he threw onto the Jews.

The nobleman inherited a dowry sufficient for an ox to walk the streets every year. And that is how it is done to this day. The main event of the Festa do Boi, which lasts ten days, are the ox races –several each day– through the streets of Allariz. Houses’ doors are left open for people to take shelter in, and the ox, which several members of the clubs, dressed in white shirts and red scarves, lead with a long branch, makes its way along the route, stopping where it wants and charging at the large audience that accompany it, shouting in chorus “aí vén o boi, aí vén o boi” (here comes the ox).

Xan de Arzúa makes an appearance at the festival before the Corpus Christi procession, embodied in a straw doll, on a cow cart. Surrounded by guild dancers, he is carried through the streets of the town to the Campo da Barreira, where a crowd dressed in medieval costumes share a meal.

Not to be missed

Carreiras do boi running through the streets of Allariz.

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