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Chestnut Festivities

The Magosto in the Bierzo

Many are the villages celebrating the traditional “fiesta del magosto” in the Bierzo, being one of the richest regions in chestnut trees groves within Spain.

During the days comprised between November 1st (All Saints Day) and November 11th  (San Martín) approximately, it is custom to organize these fiestas where chestnuts are grilled in the fire and new wine as well as chorizos (highly-seasoned pork sausages) shall not miss.

The whole event consists of making a bonfire, and put above the glowing embers a metal cylinder with holes in its base called “tambor”, in which the chestnuts are put after having carefully been cut at one end so that they do not pop or explode. Once grilled, they are pealed off and eaten. 
It is custom to blacken one´s face with coal and jump over the bonfire as this might bring good fortune, and to play different traditional games, tell tales or sing folk songs.


This is another regional tradition related with fire, and which has been kept alive in the villages of the valleys of Ancares and Fornela mainly.  The filandón is a meeting organized at night right after diner, during which tales are being said out loud while some manual labor is being done (usually textile). Those meetings used to be around the fire place with all the participants sitting on benches or workbenches.

The Parliament of Castile and Leon declared on June 8th, 2010 the Filandón as a “Good of Cultural Interest” and requested its recognition as “Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Unesco”.

This tradition has been recovered mainly thanks to writers, oral storytellers, bards and musicians who performed on various scenes thus enriching it with new stories and songs.

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