Caneiros festivity in Betanzos
The Caneiros party is celebrated in the honor of Saint Roque, on August 18th and 25th in Betanzos. This pagan celebration is considered the most important of Galicia, and along with the other party of the town, El Globo, are National Tourist Interest parties since 1965.
Since a long time ago, on August 17th, there is a mass lunch in the open field of As Cascas, this celebration is called San Roque Pequeno. Because the construction of the new road from Betanzos to La Golada, the celebration has changed its place to Campos de Mempás or Campos de los Caneiros, in the middle of a meander where the tools called Caneiros are positioned. This is the reason why the celebration has that name.
In this party, people decorate their boats with flowers, palm leafs and little monuments of the city. Inside the boat, they put tables and benchs and people dance and have lunch along the slope of the river to the field where the party is held. In this place there are bands and bag-pipers, and the people usually drink a lot of wine.
But the most suggestive thing is the return with the dinner in the middle of the dusk along the river. There are a lot of different lights and flowers and people change their food with others boats. This part of the trip lasts several hours and the principal actors are love and fantasy. Finally, when the boats arrive to the Puente Viejo (bridge), there are a lot of fireworks and the party continues in the Hermanos García Naveira square in Betanzos.
Photo courtesy of Official Chronicler of Betanzos, Jose Raimundo Nuñez-Varela y Lendoiro.