Photo: La Voz de Galicia
The “Entroido” (Carnival) in Galicia is one of the most deeply rooted festivals in our region, with several of its customs being well known throughout Spain. Today, we would like to speak to you about one of the most popular ones, so stay with us and celebrate the end of Mar de Santiago’s “Entroido” in Vilanova de Arousa.
“Don Carnal” and “Doña Cuaresma”
The Entroido’s typical customs are based on ancestral pagan traditions that the Church later assimilated. The origin of the word carnival comes from “carnal,” which symbolises the excesses of the flesh before the period of Lent (“Cuaresma” in Spanish). That is why the contrast between both periods is known as “Don Carnal” and “Doña Cuaresma.”
These customs have survived down to our time, being celebrated in one of our region’s most popular festivals. Disguises, fun, savoury or sweet dishes -who does not like the “Entroido”?
Vilanova de Arousa’s “Entroido”
One of the most famous traditions in the four municipal districts that form Mar de Santiago is held at the end of the Carnival. We are, of course, speaking about the “Enterro do Momo” (Burial of the “Momo”) in Vilanova de Arousa.
Vilanova de Arousa’s “Entroido” is famous for its “comparsas” (Carnival groups) and parades. It is a real fiesta for all the senses: the costumes of the “comparsas” are spectacular featuring a lot of details and creativity. The participants dance and sing while the crowd joins in, creating an atmosphere of joy and fun.
All these celebrations end on Ash Wednesday, when one of the oldest traditions takes place in Vilanova de Arousa: “O Enterro do Momo” (The Burial of “Momo”).
“O Enterro do Momo,” the tradition that brings the “Entroido” to an end in Mar de Santiago
Along with the “O Enterro da Sardiña” (The Burial of the Sardine), in Vilanova we can also enjoy the “O enterro do Momo,” a tradition similar to the latter but with a very interesting change.
Every year, a well-known figure is chosen, and an effigy is made of him or her. It is not easy to trace the origin of this custom in Vilanova de Arousa, but it is worthwhile spending an amusing afternoon of satyr in this municipal district.
“Momo” is a Greek god personifying sarcasm that was venerated by writers and poets. In ancient times, it was represented by a mask or a doll, and this tradition has been passed down through the centuries.
As you can see, the “Entroido” is one of the most celebrated traditions throughout Galicia, both inland and on the coast. Mar de Santiago invites you to come and enjoy one of the typical celebrations of Vilanova de Arousa, Valga, Pontecesures, or Catoira.
Come and explore the “Traslatio” route through Mar de Santiago and discover some of the numerous traditions of the “Entroido!”