Live in Santiago de Compostela

GALICIAN CULTURE

The flowering of Galician art that took place under Alfonso VII and Ferdinand II. kings of Galicia (until it was absorbed into Leon and Castille under Ferdinand III), saw the completion of the great Cathedrals of Ourense, Lugo and Tui, as well as Santiago. However, between the three great powers – the Catholic monarchy, Castillian Spain and the Aristocracy – Galician art, culture and language was greatly diluted. Indeed, while the Camino Frances or French Way introduced wonderfully inspiring European art and artisans to towns all along the route to Santiago, it also had the effect of further diminishing the Celtic influences within Galicia.

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There appears to be something of a revival in all Celtic cultures today. A visit to http.’Hwww.usarios.tripod.esiceltic_galiza will thrill you with the swirl of the Gaita, the traditional Galician bagpipes that you may hear in the country side or possibly the bars of Finisterre.

While the national anthem of Galicia Ospinos is not recognised officially it doesn’t seem to matter to the Galicians who sing it anyway! It is interesting to note that it was written and first sung in South America. Galicia’s culture has been kept alive as much by its emigrants (political and economic) as by those left behind. Os pinos (the Pine trees) urges the Galician people to awaken from the yoke of servitude into freedom: Listen to the voices of the murmuring pines which is none other than the voic es of the Galician people.’ However, even the Pine trees seem under threat from the imported Eucalyptus, which has taken over large swathes of the countryside – not to every one’s approval.

The Culture of Galicia lives on in its varied customs, feasts and fairs that take place throughout the year. Many of these are based on ancient Celtic festivals and celebration of the seasons, particularly at the equinoxes and summer and winter solstices. The romerias are a short festive pilgrimage, such as the reenactment of the Resurrection that takes place every Easter at the Church of Santa Maria in Fisterra. Gastronomic (Mariscos) festivals abound.

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