camino de santiago
  • Queimada, the Ritual

    Queimada, the Ritual image

    Close your eyes and imagine you are standing on top of the rocks on a cold, wind-swept beach during sunset. As the sun descends below the horizon, a mist is swirling around you. Next thing a bruxo or sorcerer appears to be dressed in animal skins and straw. He was also wearing a helmet with goat horns. He mumbles something incomprehensible as he lights a liquid on fire in a large clay pot. He chants a conjuro and begins to play the gaita or bagpipes while stirring the burning liquid in the pot (Queimada).

    Is it in a Celtic village celebrating a Pagan ritual a thousand years ago? The ritual La Queimada in the 21st century as Galicians is celebrated in Galicia, Spain for 100 years! There are many myths and mysteries surrounding the tradition of the queimada. It is thought to have originated in ancient times when Celts established villages and settled in the region of Galicia.

    Family and friends still gather together to prepare and light a fire in clay pots for the Queimada (the Fire Drink). A Traditional Galician drink is made from the residue of wine production called Orujo. Orujo is mixed in a clay pot with lemon peel, sugar and coffee beans, then lit on fire.  

    The Conjuro or "Spell"
    Traditionally, as the alcohol in the queimada burns, the following is recited in Gallego, the language of Galicia. It is a call to the earth, wind, sea and fire to purify the drink and share it with souls of family and friends who cannot be here to enjoy the queimada.  

    Take a look a what you can find in the Fiestas and Folklore in Santiago de Compostela here

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