Although a lot of ‘Fiestas del Pulpo’ take place throughout Galicia, the Octopus Festival of O Carballiño is one of the most remarkable gastronomic events of this province, therefore thousands of people come together each year to the village to enjoy the fest.
I am a Galicia-lover; it’s a beautiful green landscape, natural beaches, nice people, wonderful food and the fact that it still preserves charming spots without tourist crowds even in Summertime… all of this makes me want to spend as much time there as possible.
After driving around Galicia for several days of August, very early in the morning of the 12th, I went to O Carballiño, located in the only interior province of Galicia, in Spain´s Northwest region. Ourense.
ORIGIN OF THE OCTOPUS FESTIVAL
A small gathering of friends in 1962 has turned into a festival of such great relevance that it has been declared of National Tourist Interest. At the time, a ‘pulpeira’ (typical place to eat octopus) was cooking the octopus for them. Nowadays, around forty ‘pulpeiras’ are meticulously preparing the octopus by following a secular tradition. Tens of thousands of visitors.
HOW IT IS CELEBRATED
As in its origin, the festival is mainly celebrated at the Parque Municipal de O Carballiño, where an open-air market is displayed. Bars, food-stalls and open air ‘pulpeiras’ are spread all around.
Visitors enjoy the food to the sound of lively music from a variety of different bands; bag-pipers and drums are playing overall. Folkloric dances such as ‘muñeiras’ or ‘jotas gallegas’ are performed showing visitors their traditional dances and regional dresses.
‘PULPO A FEIRA’
The most popular way of eating this typical Galician dish is the known as ‘pulpo a feira’, boiled in traditional copper pans and cut up into bite-sized pieces and seasoned with olive oil and paprika.
Some days before the ‘romeria’, the biggest octopus ‘tapa’ is celebrated. Year after year the town tries to set a new record, not only in kilos but also in cutting speed.
MY PERSONAL POINT OF VIEW
If you are interested in Galician gastronomy and traditions, you should come to this festival. You will enjoy both their typical food and folklore at a time.
You should take advantage of the trip and drive around for several days, discovering this province and its charms, rich in spas and hot springs. For better or for worse, as Ourense is the only province that is not located on the coast, it is barely frequented by foreigners, what makes it even more interesting.