Ascension Day in Spain is celebrated with feasts of food, folk dancing, music, parades and carnivals! This holiday celebrates the 40th day after Easter remembering Jesus’ bodily Ascension to Heaven. We were lucky to be in Santiago de Compostela to experience this because the Old Town is the most religious site in Spain and a UNESCO World Heritage Site!
Galicia is a region of Spain on the far western coast. Santiago de Compostela is the city built around the cathedral that holds the remains of St. James. Millions of people have walked the “Way of St James” through Europe to this cathedral!
The cathedral and main square
View of the carnival from the main square
Parades marched through the old town for several days
Huge crowds walked though town to the carnival
The celebrations began Thursday night with the carnival. Crowds of people enjoyed the colorful rides, games, cotton candy, octopus and pork ribs!
Cotton Candy was made everywhere!
Boiled octopus and grilled pork ribs were grilled on site and served with beer and wine!
As we waited in line to be seated in the massive tents, we watched the chefs in action!
Slabs of raw pork ribs were grilled over charcoal and seasoned only with salt. No pre boiling or marinating! Grilled sausages too!
Raw octopus were rinsed in tubs of cold water with a hose and then dropped in a vat of boiling water. They tested for doneness by pinching the octopus. They were then lifted out of the water and cut into bite size pieces with scissors
The line was too long for dinner so we returned for lunch Friday
Fresh churros were a big deal! They’re like a long donut with different flavors, toppings and fillings
Early Friday evening in the main square I watched a variety of well trained musicians and dancers perform. The crowds were not too large because the performers rotated through several locations in the old town.
The costumes were gorgeous!
This experience was a true highlight of all of our travels!