Entroido is what Galicians call the carnival in their language. As in most parts of the Christian world, carnival/Entroido ends the day before Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. And like many other places in the world, such as Venice and Rio de Janeiro, Galicia celebrates its carnival for at least a week before Lent.
However, what makes the Entroido stand out are the celebrations and traditional costumes worn in some of the smaller towns. As you can see below, these costumes and celebrations have nothing to do with the Venice and Rio de Janeiro carnivals.
Here are some examples:
The ‘Peliqueiros’ in Laza and the ‘Cigarróns in Verín
Although not exactly the same, you probably won’t be able to tell them apart. A mitre with an animal motif and the mask are mandatory in both cases, and careful if you run into them and you are not in fancy dress, they will not hesitate to hit you with their cane.
The ‘Pantallas’ in Xinzo de Limia
These are devils that sport bright red capes, bells tied to their waist and carry two inflated cow bladders. Again, these bladders are used to scare anyone who is not in fancy dress. Tradition says that if the person they encounter is a woman, they dance around her; and if it’s a man, they will drag him to the nearest bar where he will have to pay for a round of drinks.
The ‘Boteiros’ in Viana de Bolo
Their costumes and masks are as colourful as it gets although the face is usually painted black. Careful, they also carry canes as they parade around the streets.
These are just a few examples, there are more, some perhaps even more bizarre!