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LA RAPA DAS BESTAS (THE CAPTURE OF THE BEASTS) Galicia
 
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LA RAPA DAS BESTAS (THE CAPTURE OF THE BEASTS)
Galicia
Every weekend July and August
 
 
 
Galicians were involved in taming bestas (beasts) as early as the Bronze Age. With all this history behind it, the region continues to guard jealously the secrets surrounding a tradition which unfolds all over this evocative land from June onwards.
 
LA RAPA DAS BESTAS (THE CAPTURE OF THE BEASTS) Galicia Spain

Only seasoned travellers and stockbreeders normally have the privilege of seeing a group of wild horses galloping at full speed in the Galician sierra. For other less fortunate people there is, every weekend from June to August, a municipality holding its own rapa das bestas, an ancient rite that has now become a spectacle attracting many tourists.
 


The rapa takes place in the curro, a traditional corral where the owners take all the beasts that have been rounded up to divide them up into groups the day before the big event. When the action gets underway the most expert stockbreeders, known as agarradores (someone who seizes), grapple with the animal until they are able to control it enough to brand it and cut off its mane. Once the struggle is over a wild fiesta begins, celebrating the subduing of the animal.

The curros are hidden away in the mountains of the north and centre of Galicia, sprinkled among the massifs close to the coast of La Coruña and Pontevedra. The latter hosts the majority of the celebrations, unlike Ourense, where the last rapas took place years ago because, as the locals say, "ós cabalos cómenos os lobos" (‘The wolves eat our horses’).
In some places, the popularity of the celebrations has even spread beyond Galicia. Such is the case in the curro of San Lorenzo de Sabucedo, in A Estrada, which has been declared a celebration of national tourist interest. One of its most striking features is the corral, a stone enclosure which has remained intact for several centuries now. In Viveiro, hundreds of people gather at the curro of Candaoso every year, as they also do in A Capelada (Cedeira) and in the Campo do Oso (Mondoñedo), where they have also built, especially for the event, a wooden and metal corral, a slightly different construction to more traditional curros. More events take place from June to August, attracting people from the cities to witness an entertaining, unusual and uniquely Galician experience. A colourful programme of varied and lively fairs and romerías also catch the eye, including the horse fair of Santa Comba, where the horses have to be at their very best to pass the detailed examination of Galician and Portuguese
 
La Rapa das Bestas (The Capture of the Beasts), San Lorenzo de Sabucedo, Galicia (tel. 98-122-18-22): In the verdant hills of northwestern Spain, horses graze at will. On the first weekend of July, they are rounded up and herded into a corral. Here, each is branded and then released back into the wild after a few days of medical observation. For information, contact the Office of Tourism in Pontevedra

July
August
 
SITES OF THE MAIN RAPAS
A Coruña
A Capelada (Cedeira)29 June
As Cañizadas (Pobra do Caramiñal)12 or 19 July
Lugo
Candaoso (Viveiro)First Sunday in July
Campo do Oso (Mondoñedo)Last Sunday in June
0 Valadouro (Santo Tomé)First Sunday in August
Pontevedra
Mougás (Oia)8 June
Morgadáns (Gondomar)15 June
San Cibrao (Gondomar)22 June
Sabucedo (A Estrada)6 July
Monte Castelo (Cotobade)3 August
Paradarta (A Cañiza)31 August
0 Galiñiro (Gondomar)August

 

A Rapa das Bestas, SAN LOURENZO DE SABUCEDOA
ESTRADA
(Pontevedra), 1st weekend in July. During this festival, wild horses come down from
the hills (baixa das bestas) to the roundup, where they will be branded and their manes
clipped. It is a combination rodeo and religious event, since it marks the yearly
renovation of an old pact made between the villagers and their patron saint, San
Lourenzo, who is credited with having taken care of the animals after they had been
struck by a devastating plague. This event dates back in time to more than two
centuries.
j A Rapa das Bestas of Candaoso in San Andrés de Boimente, VIVEIRO (Lugo),
1st Sunday in July. Similar to the previous festival. Both of these events feature the
additional show of the fight between the garañóns (the studhorses established as the
leaders of their packs), and the demonstration of the skills and strength of the breeders
who round up the animals into groups to be branded and clipped.


Pontevedra
Oficina Municipal de Turismo de Pontevedra
Contact details
Praza da Verdura, s/n
36003 Pontevedra (Galicia)
info@visit-pontevedra.com
http://www.concellopontevedra.es/
Tel.:+34 986090890
Location
Autonomous region: Galicia
Province/Island: Pontevedra
 

Casa da Luz, Praza da Verdura s / n
36002 - Pontevedra
Phone: 986 090 890
Email: info@visit-pontevedra.com
Web: http://www.visit-pontevedra.com

 

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