|Marina, our Brazilian girl, unravelling the secrets of the statue to Emily.|
The Ox statue from Allariz was created by the sculptor Arturo Andrade Areas, in 2005. He did it to represent the Ox Festival, because it is the most famous festival in this village. Now, Andrade lives in the Basque Country, but he comes to Allariz on vacation, because it is his hometown, and he has a sculpture shop here.
In the statue, you can see the runner, who is the person who runs in front the animal, the ox; behind the ox, a man with a rope, who uses the rope to hold the ox --on the races, there are six men holding the ox-- and finally, the man with the stick, who uses the stick to steer the ox in the right direction.
|Pablo explaining the origins of the festival|
In the Middle Ages, while the Christians were celebrating the Corpus Christi procession, the Jews took the piss out of them. Because of this, a nobleman called Xan de Arzúa took an ox and expelled the Jews from Allariz. Xan de Arzúa gave money to create an association to organize a party and commemorate this historical landmark. During the Civil War the party was forbidden, but it was recovered by a group of eager young people in 1983 and it has been celebrated ever since.
In the past the Ox Festival used to last the whole weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) but nowadays the party lasts for 10 days, although the last weekend is the most important one and it’s when thousands of people flood the narrow streets of our village.
In the present, teenagers enjoy the party in a different way to the one other teenagers did in the past. Now people drink, smoke, break the street-lights… And in the mornings some people are so drunk that it can be dangerous for them and for others.
A PIECE OF ADVICE: If you want to run, you must wear comfortable clothes (like a tracksuit) and trainers, and if you DARE you can even put on the Ox red neckerchief. If you are under 13, renember you must run the children’s Ox race accompanied by an adult.
San Benito is the patron saint of Allariz and the festival lasts for a weekend. San Benito church is Baroque and it´s near the monastery of Santa Clara.
Barreira is a big square. In the past it used to mark the border between the town and its outskirts. Now the first and the fifteenth of every month the people that come from nearby villages sell goods in stalls.
|Iris, our expert on food, made our mouths water|
Amendoados: It´s the most famous dessert form Allariz.It is a kind of small almond cake with wafer.
Liquors: since 1930 Allariz specialized in the production of several kinds of herbs to distil. In 1990 the production of labeling liquors (herbs liquor, coffee liquor…) started.
Cheese from O Rexo: it's the only sheep cheese made in Galicia from raw milk. It's produced in a traditional way with a minimum period of 90 days.
Empanada: it´s a typical Galician dish made with dough or pastry. Inside you can have different ingredients such as: meat, tuna, mushrooms and shrimps, octopus, onion…