In ancient times, the Galicians celebrated the arrival of spring and the end of the harsh winter and thus brought about good tidings. In current times, the fiestas de los mayos are the last folkloric event that celebrates the end of winter in Galicia. Figures are built with natural elements, such as moss, wild flowers, eggs, and sticks, and songs are sung around them, to the accompaniment of palos music, coplas poems and ironic and critical songs with current events or figures. In Ourense, the Concurso de Mayos y Coplas is held every year in which all kinds of social and cultural groups participate.
The Ourense mayos are figurative, traditional constructions (among which the conical or pyramidal ones are most common, made with frameworks of rods or reeds, covered with plants and decorated with wild oranges or eggs) or artistic (more modern, representations of monuments, hórreos (granaries), boats, daily activities...). These mayos are carried by their creators among hundreds of people who participate in the festival and can be seen in the Alameda del Ayuntamiento.
Exhibition of the Mayos in the Alameda del Ayuntamiento.