Travels

Os Xenerais da Ulla in Galicia, the honor of the people and the feast of parody

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Xenerais da Ulla in the presentation of the Entroido in Santiago de Compostela (c) Avistu

"The weight is not a problem, it is about three kilos, what you have to watch is the wind," said the Xenerala holding in his left hand the triscorn to which he was referring. From it stood out more feathers than the headdress of a vedette of the Folies Bergere and among them stood out for its discreet elegance those of peacock.

No wonder the wind - after the rain - is the most feared by the Xenerais da UllaWell, I could unbalance him when riding, damage or break the components of the headdress.

The Xenerais, the Peliqueiros the Cigarettes, Madamas and Galáns, he Boteiro or the Salcedo Bear they are just some of the characters that in each parish, council or region of Galicia form the most public and colorful side of the Carnival. Or, as it is called there, the Intro, the least sacred and most crazy party of the year.

It is not known with certainty when or why Os Xenerais da Ulla arise, although it is said that they date from the first half of the 19th century. They relate, in a humorous way and as a parody, to the confrontations that took place in that area (they are held in the parishes of the councils located around the Ulla River) against the armies of Bonaparte or during the Carlist wars.

The ornate triscorn of Esther and Miguel, Xenerais da Ulla in the council of Vedra (c) Avistu

The Xenerais go mounted on horseback, with a court of choirs and troupes (of beautiful or children with traditional Galician and old-fashioned clothes, with costumes typical of the rural world), preceded by the post office (with a suit similar to that of the Xenerais but without a flag, cord or epaulettes) that announce them and followed by the caixeiro, the collector who makes cash with the Living.

The Living are one of the two occasions in which an Xeneral looks. The Mail will arrive at a neighbor's house and will indicate that the entree is approaching, so it will come to the door (usually with chocolates, churros, filloas, and sweets for everyone) and there you will receive the Viva del Xeneral, a greeting and public praise. Then the caixeiro You will receive compensation for the act of recognition.

This ceremony is intended to reinforce the feeling of belonging to the community, whose cohesion is basic for the survival of the small nuclei of rural population, so frequent in Galicia.

Miguel, Xeneral do Ulla, Vedra (c) Avistu

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