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Carnival, in February and March, is the first major fiesta of the year after Three Kings Day on January 6.
Semana Santa (Holy Week) is observed in Viveiro with a barefoot procession of flagellants illuminated by hundreds of candles. On June 14, during the feast of Corpus Christi, Pontevedra celebrates flowers and the harvest. The Rapa das Bestas (Taming of the Beasts—the breaking of wild horses) is the first weekend of July in various locales. El Día de Santiago (St. James's Day), July 25, is celebrated in Santiago with processions and fireworks. On the first Sunday in August, the Festa do Vino Albariño (Albariño Wine Festival) enlivens Cambados. In Gijón, during the last two weeks of August, the Fiesta de Muestras transforms the city into a street party with bullfights, crafts, concerts, and all-night parties. On August 15, sailors and fishermen in Luarca celebrate Nuestra Señora del Rosario (Our Lady of the Rosary) by parading their boats through the harbor. The late September Procesión de las Mortajas (Procession of the Shrouded), in A Coruña, dating from the 15th century, carries survivors of illness, bad luck, or bad love around town in open coffins. At O Grove's Festa do Marisco (Seafood Festival), the second Sunday in October, crowds feast on delicacies from the sea. Santander's big event is the Festival Internacional Santander (www.festivalsantander.com) in August, which attracts top international music and dance artists.
There are also a number of festivals in towns that don't otherwise have much to offer the average traveler. The Festa do Chourizo en Sant Anton de Abedes (St. Anthony of Abedes Sausage Festival) on January 17 in Verin, honors the local patron saint through sausage appreciation and a parade. The Procesión dos Fachós (Procession of the Scarecrows, January 19), in Ourense, is a torchlight procession commemorating the village's survival of a 1753 cholera outbreak. On February 2, for Fiesta del Gallo, a ritual rooster slaughter celebrates Candlemas, the day Christ was first presented at the temple. The spectacle is not for the faint of heart—the cock is often buried alive or beaten to death with a club. The first week of March, the Festa do Queixo (Cheese Festival), in Arzúa near A Coruña, celebrates food and folklore.
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