Seafood, cocido (Galician stew) and lamprey are three essential dishes in the cuisine from Rías Baixas. The towns of O Grove, Lalín and Arbo pay tribute to them at three National Festivals of Tourist Interest. In Vilagarcía de Arousa, thousands of people take part in a collective shower in the Festa da Auga, which also bears this distinction, and Vigo returns to 1809 to revive the Reconquista in front of the Army of Napoleon. Are you ready to have fun?
Feria do Cocido, in Lalín
Lalín is the world capital of the cocido (Galician stew) in winter. The festival was born in 1968 as a day to pay tribute to a traditional dish. However, it has been extended in time, and today it lasts for a month, known as “mes do cocido”. This town in the region of Deza gathers thousands of visitors coming to taste this delicious dish, including a dozen of ingredients which, perfectly combined, make up the best cocido.
Festa da Reconquista (Vigo)
Vigo goes back to March 1809 during the first weekend of A Reconquista but the armed siege of those days is a mass festival today. The old town of Vigo became a huge outdoor market visited by hundreds of people in period costumes. The atmosphere is imbued with the spirit of that feat while thousands of people have a good time at street stalls, bars, restaurants, taperías (tapas bars) and at tables outside bars and cafes. The escenification of the expulsion of the french army is the main act.
Festa da Lamprea, in Arbo
The ancestral lamprey, one of the oldest fishes in the world, being more than 500 million years old, travels along the Miño River towards the sea and climb up the river at the end of its life to die. This culinary delight can be tasted in different dishes in a festival held in Arbo. The event is also the showcase of the quality products from the regions of O Condado and A Paradanta.
Festa do Marisco, in O Grove
The sea and the restaurants and bars are two of the key sectors in the town of O Grove that have been linked to this event, created in 1963. Here, the best products captured in the Ría de Arousa are showcased. Thousands of visitors gather under the marquee set up near the port and fill the local restaurants to taste the best seafood in the world.
Festa da Auga, in Vilagarcía de Arousa
In the heat of the summer, pilgrims devoted to Saint Roch used to go to the town of Vilagarcía de Arousa to freshen up after the procession, and this tradition has turned today into a great event. This pagan festival, which is linked to religious celebrations, gathers every summer thousands of visitors. The opening speech is followed by a collective “shower” in the streets, with the collaboration of the local firefighters, civil peace forces and locals, leaning on their windows or balconies armed with buckets of water and hosepipes.