Tourist Interest
Dates of celebration: 12/08 - 12/08


Cervo - Lugo

43º 41' 55.0" N - 7º 26' 20.0" W


The inhabitants of this coastal parish can't agree on the character and true intentions of Maruxaina, a character who is the protagonist of one of the most remote Galician legends who lives on the islands of Os Farallóns. Some say that she is a beautiful nymph with the body of a woman and the tail of a fish who is envious of sailors' wives, and so with her seductive singing, she lures sailors to enjoy her company. Others maintain that she warns them of storms and that she is a kindly old woman. In any case, the figure of the Maruxaina is shrouded in mystery, and even in more recent times the legend has been fed in the area with the shipwrecks of, for example, the ship Castillo Moncada (1945), the fishing boat Marifran (1950s) or the ship Carebeka VIII (1982).
Be that as it may, the village decided to stage the legend of the Maruxaina, which tells of her imprisonment and trial, and has done so since 1985 with a festival that fascinates residents and visitors alike. It is a festival that carries in its spirit the bewitching power of Maruxaina herself, and begins in the morning with different events, food and popular games on O Torno beach. The central act begins just before midnight. Men and women dress like the people of the sea of ancient times: men with rolled-up trousers and shirts, and women with long skirts. With the village’s lights turned off, the men go out to sea in search of the Maruxaina, blasting horns and hooters so as not to hear the siren's song. The sailors then return to the beach of O Torno with the figure of the Maruxaina, amidst fireworks, and to the cheers of the public, the nereid is taken to the town square to be judged for her deeds throughout the year in the Gran Xuízo Popular (Great Popular Trial). The Maruxaina is always acquitted, and at the reading of the sentence, the judge orders a big party to be held, with queimada included -a punch made from Galician aguardiente (orujo from Galicia) -a spirit distilled from the rests of winemaking- and flavoured with special herbs or coffee, plus sugar, lemon peel, coffee beans and cinnamon-, until dawn. 

San Cibrao (Cervo). Second Saturday in August.

Further features

Festivities Tourist Interest Galician Festivals of Tourist Interest