Romeira de Cadeiras – The yearly fiesta near Pinol Ribeira Sacra – Our second year

Amazing, more than a year passed. We are older, wiser?, the house is nearly finished (will it ever?), but we do know a lot more people.

castro caldelas asleepLast year we heard about ROMERIA DE CADEIRAS which is a fiesta of 3-4 days at the beginning of September, in Castro Cadeiras near Pinol. Once a year this sleepy historic place wakes up. I think, if I remember correctly, our neighbour said you have to go there. There is music, dancing and plenty of food and wine. We went and yes there is great music and  dancing. There is also plenty of food and wine BUT only if you bring it along and it is best shared in a larger group.

If you are into Pulpo you can scrape by, as there is no fiesta in Galicia without at least one preferably two stands doing roaring trade in pulpo. Yes, there is also at least one bar serving drinks on shouted commands. Mhhh, we felt a bit lonely and outside.

That was last year! What a difference a year can make.

This year we were invited to go up to the fiesta and join with friends and family of local friends.


Two table and benches had been booked in advance and the amount of food was simply staggering. Looking around us we realized some groups of families / friends had simply brought up a complete hearth with gas bottle moving the cooking from home to the fiesta. One needs to remember this is a 4 day fiesta.

It was a completely different feeling to the whole proceedings and in way it hammered home that we have arrived and start absorbing the life of typical rural Galicia. If one makes a little effort and, that is important, takes the time, rural Galicia and its inhabitants open up and welcome you. Remember, no one in rural Galicia is in a hurry. It may not look like it, rural life is a busy life but it does not stand in the way of socialising, there is always time for a chat. Stopping the car leaning out or getting out and chat is sooo important. Leaning over the wall and chat to the neighbor, amble through the village and simply shout greetings to people in the distance or see if one can lend  a helping hand (or tool) make up the fabric of rural life.  If one sees someone struggling with a job or scratching their head about a problem, venture over see if you can lend a hand (or tool), maybe throw in an idea. People here will not directly ask you for help but they do appreciate it if you offer. Not to forget they are covertly curious, so inviting them in, showing off a bit and explaining what one does and why goes a long long way.

Enough reflections and digression (the authors right I guess) – back to the business at hand.

food glorious foodgaitas

The bands / orchestras and local bandas play leading up to the big event of lunch at about 3pm. This maybe disrupted by the banda of gaitas going round and playing near the tables, but for sure is not to be taken lightly and is easily a  lengthily procedure.

A break of a couple of hours to digest and recharge batteries and hop home to replenish any gaps appearing in the food presented lead to a rejoining at about 10pm.

1st band at cadeiras ribeira sacramoore food - evening snack2nd band pinol ribeira sacra

Yup, 10pm! A drink is taken, one listens to the bands / orchestras and in the background the tables are re-laid for another session of food & drink. This can be disrupted by couples jumping up and simply joining the dancing.

We left at about 1am but by no means were the last.

If one is a stout follower these procedings are to be repeated for 4 days…….

Last year we said “We’ll never manage dinner after 10pm – We’ll never manage to go out after 10pm – Wouldn’t it be nice to know some people and really join in – “.

Well, that was last year………. and now there is next year to look forward to.