In this eastern Ourense town, the "cigarróns" are the stars of the local Carnival celebrations. They appear on Domingo Corredoiro, the Sunday before Domingo de Entroido (Carnival Sunday), after morning mass, greeting the faithful and lending the town an atmosphere of magic and excitement with their dances and the deafening sound of their "chocas" (cowbells).
In the weeks leading up to the culmination of the celebrations, a number of rituals take place, including the Xoves de Comadres y de Compadres, a war of the sexes between young men and women.
On Luns de Entroido (Carnival Monday) there is a large flour fight, symbolizing the breaking down of the barriers of daily life, and in the past, a way for young men to approach women and get their attention. On Tuesday, there is a great parade of floats, revelers, masked figures and "cigarróns" through the centre of town.
"Cigarróns", brass bands and street parties breathe life into the streets and squares of Verín, which rests from the excesses of Carnival on Wednesday, Mércores de Cinza, a local holiday.
Greetings from the legions of <em>cigarróns</em> as people leave Sunday mass on Domingo Corredoiro.