The festive calendar of Ribadesella is dense throughout the year although the summer takes the palm, having as standard to the International Descent of the Sella or Festival of the Piragües.
Starting the year with a lot of cold, in the month of February or March -as the Holy Week falls- we have: Carnival or Antroxu.
In the twenties and during the Republic the Carnivals of this town were famous throughout Asturias. Masked dances were held in three rooms simultaneously and the streets of the town were filled with foreign cars. After the prohibition of carnival in the postwar period, the arrival of democracy again allowed the population to demonstrate their fondness for disguises.
The center of the festival is today located in a large tent that installs the Town Hall in the Plaza Nueva, where the dance and the contest is celebrated, although the antroxies (disguised) also like to swarm through the bars and establishments of the town. The Asturian term of antroxu comes from the Latin word introutum, in reference to the entry into Lent that means Carnival.
Although there is evidence of the existence of brotherhoods and processions of Holy Week since the beginning of the nineteenth century, they stopped being celebrated for more than fifty years. At present they have been recovered and the three brotherhoods accompany their images through the streets of the village.
The most emotional moment is usually the viacrucis night by the pier, illuminated by torches that are shaken by the wind and reflected in the waters of the estuary. As for the secular party, on Good Friday, the horse race and of the country's cars on the beach of Santa Marina, great show for the many visitors that the town receives in those vacation days.
More information Horse racing in Ribadesella
· June: San Juan
The night of San Juan, the 24 of June, has a special flavor in Asturias, with reverence for the waters, decoration of the fountains, dances around the fire and legends of apparitions of xanas.
This festival was held before in the neighborhood of Portiellu, around the source that still exists, although nowadays it has been replaced by an attractive barbecue night and paella in the San Juan meadow, in the middle of the estuary and in the light of a monumental bonfire.
More information Night of San Juan in Ribadesella
· July: Our Lady of Guidance
Although the patron saint of the town is the Magdalena, the Virgen de Guía, patron saint of the sailors, has a greater protagonism. It is celebrated at the beginning of July and is organized by the Fishermen's Guild. In the nine days before, a novena is celebrated in the hermitage of Guía and on the eve of the feast the fishermen descend to the virgin on the slopes of Mount Corveru amidst the stampedes of voladores, bells and moans of the siren of the fish market. The next day it is carried in a maritime procession, evoking ancient rites of sea worship. The fishermen and the Dance of Arcos accompany it, a genuinely Riosellana folkloric group and of sailor origins as well.
· August: International Descent of the Sella
Few sporting events have a big party at the same time. The International Descent of the Sella is an unusual test in which both professionals and amateurs, athletes and the public measure their strength. It is a folkloric-sporting festival, declared of International Tourist Interest, the most important in the Asturian summer, without a doubt, due to its spectacle and public affluence. It is celebrated every year on the first Saturday of August.
More information International descent of the Sella
· August: Santa Marina
Leaving aside the party of the Piraguas, which deserves a separate chapter, in August we must highlight Santa Marina, which was formerly held in his beach chapel of the beach, where he used to go by boat. At the beginning of the 20th century, this festival was re-launched by the holidaymakers' colony and today, the chapel has already disappeared, it is celebrated in a similar way to the Guide, with maritime procession of the image and accompaniment of the folk groups and the fleet of fishing.
· August: Cheese Fair in Cuerres
In mid-August, the festival of San Lorenzo takes place in the town of Cuerres, testimony of what was the most important fair in the entire region, and the Cheese Festival, attended by the main artisan cheese makers from the whole of the East of Asturias, a region considered the largest cheese spot in Europe ». It is an excellent opportunity to taste the incomparable cheeses of Cabrales, Gamonedo, Beyos, Pría, Porrúa or Vidiago, as well as some other from the rest of the region such as Casin, Genestoso or Afuega el Pitu.
More information Quesu de Cuerres Fair
· September: San Miguel
This party, deeply popular in nature, was created in 1968 in the neighborhood of Cobayu and in such a short time it has become one of the most successful in the council. Its elements of interest are a futsal tournament, a popular descent of the Sella (Arriondas - Cobayu), a campaign mass, a dance contest and a popular espicha, typical Asturian agape based on cider, boiled eggs and other foods.
Text: © Ramón Molleda for desdeasturias.com