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A rapa das bestas (horse-shearing festival)

The "Rapa das bestas" festival in Sabucedo

Festivity of International Tourist Interest

This fiesta dates back to the 15th century and is held every year in the first week of July. It comprises a noble confrontation between man and horse.

At the celebration, young people from Sabucedo and the surrounding area (Pontevedra province, Region of Galicia) head for the mountains at dawn. Their aim is to find wild horses living in the area, bring them back to the village and cut their manes. When night falls, they all come together to enjoy food, music and wine.

Each year, the Rapa das bestas festival in Sabucedo attracts more and more visitors on account of the spectacular, noble nature of this battle between man and beast. The young men divide up into groups and head for the mountains in search of horses. When they find them, they surround them and drive them back to the village. Finally, they get them all together and begin cutting their manes. For this, two "aloitadores" (the young men who do the cutting) place themselves at the head of the animal, and one more at the tail. First, one of those at the head tries to mount the horse while the one behind tries to imbalance it. Then, the second "aloitador" at the head tries to do the same, forcing the first one to get off. These are the complicated manoeuvres used to cut the animal's hair in a real body-to-body fight.

The "Rapa das bestas" festival in Sabucedo

Sabucedo, Estrada, A, Pontevedra  (Galicia)