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Spain: Ancient spring carnival sees locals parade around in animal skulls and colourful costumes02:34

Spain: Ancient spring carnival sees locals parade around in animal skulls and colourful costumes

Spain, Santiago de Arriba
February 28, 2017 at 04:41 GMT -00:00 · Published

Locals dressed up for the ancient Ribeirao Carnival, at Santiago de Arriba parish, Chantada, on Monday, welcoming the coming of spring.

People dress up as the traditional characters known in Galican as 'Volantes', 'Maragatos' and 'Mecos' in the parish, some covered themselves in animal skins and whilst others wore bells around their waists. The Ribeirao Carnival takes place throughout the village; it deals with the end of the winter, and criticizes feudal lords and landowners. The carnival goers symbolically parade across fields as they believe it will ensure that their crops prosper in the coming year. Participants stage performances, trying to involve the public in the celebration.

Participant Xose manuel Zeixas explained, "It is a festivity which symbolises the calling for spring. It is an ancestral rite, not only in Galica but in the whole Europe, with shamanic or totemic characters, or however you want to call them, who make a representation of the calling for spring."

The celebration was prohibited during the civil war, but residents in the area revived the tradition in the 1990s.

Spain: Ancient spring carnival sees locals parade around in animal skulls and colourful costumes02:34
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Description

Locals dressed up for the ancient Ribeirao Carnival, at Santiago de Arriba parish, Chantada, on Monday, welcoming the coming of spring.

People dress up as the traditional characters known in Galican as 'Volantes', 'Maragatos' and 'Mecos' in the parish, some covered themselves in animal skins and whilst others wore bells around their waists. The Ribeirao Carnival takes place throughout the village; it deals with the end of the winter, and criticizes feudal lords and landowners. The carnival goers symbolically parade across fields as they believe it will ensure that their crops prosper in the coming year. Participants stage performances, trying to involve the public in the celebration.

Participant Xose manuel Zeixas explained, "It is a festivity which symbolises the calling for spring. It is an ancestral rite, not only in Galica but in the whole Europe, with shamanic or totemic characters, or however you want to call them, who make a representation of the calling for spring."

The celebration was prohibited during the civil war, but residents in the area revived the tradition in the 1990s.

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