There are many November festivals that take place along the Camino that you should visit if you are walking this historic route in Northern Spain. Many of them celebrate traditional folklore including music, local customs, delicious foods and spiritual events. For that reason, you should check out these five November festivals along the Camino de Santiago.
1. Dia de Todos los Santos – The Feast of All the Saints
All Saints day takes place on November 1st annually following on from Halloween festivities. In fact, it is an important national and religious public holiday all over Spain. People return to their towns or villages and lay flowers on the graves of their deceased relatives. It is a solemn but emotion-filled day with a lot of importance for many Spanish people. Expect to see flower sellers along streets and graveyards with colourful flower displays.
It is common for families to visit cemeteries and make a sweet called “Huesos de Santo” (Bones of the Holy) to bring to the cemetery.
2. Festival of San Martín, or the Humanitarians’ Festival (Asturias)
On November 11th, the celebration of the festival of San Martín commences. The celebration takes place in the lush province of Moreda de Aller in the Asturias region. It is a commemoration of the funeral day of San Martín de Tours. People descend on this small community to take part in this traditional harvest and folklore festival. If you are finishing the Camino del Norte or beginning the Camino Primitivo, a 30km detour south of Oviedo will get you there.
The festival in Moreda de Aller commences with a traditional sung mass which is accompanied by Asturian bagpipes. A food auction known as “la puya`l ramu” happens after mass. Emmer bread, blessed in the previous mass is bid on.
Later, there is a parade of floats accompanied by Asturian dance groups and bagpipe bands. In addition, the xandas (groups of people traditionally dressed) follow the floats. The feast of St Martín tops off the evening. The feast comprises a meal of fabada (Asturian white bean stew) with casadiellas and panchón for dessert (traditional desserts from Aller).
3. O Magosto festival (Galicia)
O Magosto, the sweet chestnut festival is a traditional Autumn harvest celebration that takes place across much of Galicia. The festivities come to an end on November 11th on St Martíns day. Chestnut trees are an important part of the Galician landscape providing rich fruit used in many Galician recipes. The roasting of chestnuts in drums or pans over open flames is the main activity.
The festivities play out on the streets of Ourense with dancing, music and storytelling. You will get the chance to taste some delicious foods like baked chorizo and sample red wine and the traditional fire drink Queimada.
A Galician saying sets the scene:
“At San Martiño the magosto is done with roast chestnuts and young wine”Galician Saying
Ourense which lies along the Camino Mozárabe or Via de la Plata route is a popular location for O Magosto. It is a magic experience to hear the crackle of chestnuts over an open fire and we encourage you to stop in Ourense during your Camino.
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4. Santiago (é) Tapas (Galicia)
If you love Tapas, then you should definitely try to be in Santiago for its tapas competition Santiago (é) Tapas after your Camino. It takes place from November 11th – November 28th with over 40 tapas bars, restaurants and taverns taking part. You can discover the delicious gastronomy of Galicia by getting a Tapasportes guide. This guidebook divides the city into several routes, listing all participating establishments in the city of Santiago. When you have tasted each tapas, you can vote which tapas venue is the tastiest.
Additionally for everyone who completes the tapas route could win a prize. All routes lead to Santiago! And what better activity after your Camino than to eat some tasty tapas on the Camino.
5. Festival of Orujo (Cantabria)
The festival of Oruju normally takes place on the 2nd week of November in Potes. Nestled in the Picos de Europa mountains, Potes is a pretty Cantabrian village. Celebrating the drink Aguardiente and its importance as a spiritual drink, the festival has traditional folkloric significance.
Aguardiente has a very high alcohol content made from distilling grapes. The drink is called Orujo in northern Spain.
Furthermore, Orujo is used in the Queimada ritual at Halloween and Midsummer. Orujo is distilled on the street with different flavours to taste for attendees. A competition is also held to find the best Orujo maker and the winner receives the title of “great Orujero”.
A Spanish festival would be nothing without traditional tasty foods. You can taste well known local dishes such as cocido lebaniego (typical chickpea stew from Liébana), borono (a kind of black pudding) with apple, and Picón cheese. In addition to the merriment, the festival is accompanied by talks, traditional costumes with music and dancing performances.
If you want to visit Potes, you can take a day to detour off the Camino del Norte route south from the town of Unquera. There are so many Food and Wine Festivals on the Camino de Santiago to discover. Take the time to note these enjoyable November festivals and check out our post on October and December festivals on the Camino way.
Enjoy the Camino in November!
There are many great November festivals to experience along the Camino de Santiago. If you want to experience some, Follow the Camino will help you plan your next holiday adventure!
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