[Galician life] Pasarrúas – what are those bagpipes doing down my street?

So you’re having breakfast one morning and you hear drums rolling. And bagpipes. The sound comes and goes, making it all more confusing (remember, you’re having breakfast and the caffeine hasn’t kicked in yet).

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Guy in a pink t-shirt with a broom. I’m still wondering about this.

Now the sound is getting closer, so you go out on the porch in your pijamas and this is what you see:

It’s a passarúas!

During the local festivites, which in our part of the world are around July 16th, every morning you’ll be reminded that it’s Party Day with a noisy Galician soundtrack. Pasarrúas usually have a small group of musicians – I’ve seen anything from three to six – and there’s always some bagpipes and drums involved. The idea is to wake you up so you can go to the morning mass – local festivities always revolve about some Virgin or some Saint, so there’s always a morning mass, usually followed by something very non-religious like food or competition or a concert. Then you wonder why Catholicism works – it’s fun!

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Now what was the guy in a blue t-shirt carrying I have no idea.

So the pasarrúas guys go around the village streets, leaving us with a smile on our faces – similar yet so different from when in Seville I heard solemn trumpets and boom! a procession would come round the corner. These are the things that make me happy in Spain.

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