For many years, the Entroido (Carnival) is the festival par excellence in Verín, and the pride of the town, which as a result of its fame, importance and cultural contents, has been declared a Festival of National Tourism Interest. Pagan in origin and dating back centuries, it is the most important fair held during the year in the region. There can be no doubt that Verín and the whole of the valley are the focal point for Carnival celebrations held in Galicia, and even in the whole of Spain, despite the urban nature the celebrations have acquired in recent years.
Verín’s Entroido celebrations feature the Xoves de Compadres – literally Godfathers’ Thursday” , when groups of men and youths take to the streets, letting off large numbers of bangers. After travelling through the streets of the town accompanied by a dummy and a band, they burn the figure and then meet up in groups to have dinner.On Domingo Corredoiro – literally “Running Sunday” – young men run through the streets throwing bags of flour, before which the Cigarróns offer the “Salute of the Cigarróns”, appearing as people are leaving twelve o’clock mass.On Xoves de Comadres (“Godmothers’ Thursday”) a children’s procession is held at midday, with pupils from the local schools. Around nightfall another procession takes place, similar to Godfathers’ Thursday” but this time in the female version: hundreds of women meet together to let their hair down at unisex dinners in bars and restaurants.
After dinner, around midnight, all of the women head towards the neighbourhood of San Lázaro to receive the Raíña do Entroido (Carnival “Queen”) and the Entroideiro Maior (Carnival “King”), who hold the post for life. In a torchit procession, they head towards the town’s main square to hear the official Carnival Proclamation, and party on through the night.On Saturday, in the square of the same name, the ritual known as the “Baptism of the Cigarrón” is held, during which new Cigarróns are presented to society in the presence of the Carnival “King” and “Queen”.On what is known as Domingo Gordo “Fat Sunday”– there is a large para-de along the town’s main street, with dozens of Cigarróns and numerous floats and revellers.
This colourful, hugely entertaining spectacle attracts visitors from all over the district, from neighbouring Portugal and further afield.On Monday, the festival is focused in the old town, continuing with flourthrowing (fariñadas) and tastings of typical local products, mainly made of pork. Every evening, bands play in the main square, and the fun continues on into the early hours in the local bars and clubs.
On Carnival Tuesday, the procession is repeated, with large number of visitors from Portugal during the vening, with fireworks and music to bring an end to the festivities for another year.