There are many wonderful festivals taking place throughout the year on the Camino de Santiago. One of these is O Magosto, Galicia’s classic autumn festival.
This festival welcomes the winter season and is dedicated to one special product: the chestnut. If you are travelling along one of the Camino routes in late October and November, it’s likely you’ll encounter some Magosto celebrations.
O Magosto doesn’t occur on a specific date but always takes place during the second half of October or the first few days in November. The city of Ourense (on the Via de la Plata route) is home to one of Galicia’s most famous Magostos. Here, the festival is celebrated on St. Martin’s Day, which is the 11th of November.
St. Martin’s Day was also the traditional day for slaughtering the pigs that would supply families in the countryside with meat for the winter. Hence the expression: ‘A todo porco lle chega o seu San Martiño’, ‘every pig gets its Saint Martin’s Day’. This proverb means that ‘every wrongdoer will eventually be held to account’ or ‘karma will get you back’ basically.
As well as the witty proverbs, you will find mentions of O Magosto celebrations, Saint Martin, chestnuts and the beginning of winter in Galicia in many different songs and pieces of literature.
While chestnuts are the main ingredient of the Magosto festival, other foods are also included in the celebrations, including local ‘young wine’ and pork meat products such as chorizo sausage.
Traditionally, the Magosto was celebrated in the chestnut grove (Souto) where youngsters would collect firewood and chestnuts would be roasted on a bonfire. Today, children celebrate their school ‘magostos’, and many communities, towns and cities also host public festivals to welcome the winter and indulge in a few chestnuts.
Some Camino cities and towns celebrating O Magosto include Santiago de Compostela, Ourense, Sarria and Neda on the Camino Ingles.
O Magosto is just one of many festivals on the Camino. Make sure you read our Camino Festivals Calendar to see what festivals may be taking place during your journey.
For more information about the Camino de Santiago or to start planning your trip, please don’t hesitate to contact us.