Europe's Unique Regions - Our Personal Experience

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A Rapa das Bestas de Sabucedo - Leire


This festival is held every first week of July and dates back to the 15th century. Its protagonist is the noble confrontation between man and horse.




During the festival, the young people of Sabucedo and their surroundings (Pontevedra, in the region of Galicia) depart to the mountain at dawn. Their goal is to locate the horses that live in freedom in those lands, gather them in the village and shave them. At night, everyone gathers to enjoy the food, the music and the wine.




 The Rapa das Bestas de Sabucedo attracts more visitors each year due to the spectacularness of the noble struggle between man and beasts. The first ones are divided into groups and they advance along the mountain in search of the horses. When they find them, they fence them until they walk them towards the village. Finally, it meets all and begins the cut of the mane. For to, two aloitadores (grooms who make the monkfish) are placed in the head of the animal and one in the tail. First one of the leads of the head tries to climb the horse while the rear tries to unbalance it. Then, the other of the head Aloitadores tries to do the same and formes the first to descend. They are complicated maneuvers with which they shave the animal in an authentic melee fight.