-Carpets---- Vow of Chanteiro---- Easter-----Carnival-----Carmen Redes-----Other

In the course of all the Middle Ages, epidemics followed systematically all over Europe. One of the plagues will affect the Ferrol area in the year 1.404. A great number of people will die. Such a tragedy could only be vanquished by divine intervention. The maritime villages of the area were very devoted to the Virgin of Chanteiro. This hermitage was seen by the fishermen each time they entered or leaved the estuary, and they greeted her by putting their paddles in the air.
Representatives of all the villages of the area came to this Virgin to implore the end of the epidemic. This happened on the days right after Pentecostal feast. The epidemic ended and the people of the area decided to make an offering (vow) of gratitude to the Virgin. This offering consisted of six pounds of wax to illuminate the chapel (this weight was the result of measuring the exterior of the hermitage by using sail masts). In the same way, each time that the Vow would be renewed, annually, they would offer to the Virgin a flower to be placed at her hands: the flower of Chanteiro. In time, the flower of Chanteiro would become an over-elaborate flower ornate basket. The Vow was offered by Ferrol, A Graña, Ares and Mugardos. Once the religious offer was made the secular feast and the fair itself began. In time, the secular celebration grew in popularity. People from diverse places gathered, and scandals and quarrels became usual. Ferrol asked for the commutation of the Vow in 1.839. A Graña ceased exerting this right “since one year several people got drunk, fell to the sea and drowned, and along with them fell the image of San Roque that they had brought in procession”. This happened in the second half of the XIX century. Ares abandoned this offer after Mendizabal´s Dis-entitlement and was retaken in 1.954. Concerning Mugardos, the authorities left its celebration during the II Republic, retaking it after the Civil War. Who never left attending Chanteiro on Pentecostal Tuesday were the people from the diverse villages of the area that kept on with the devotion to the miraculous Virgin, following a tradition that has already lasted more than 600 years. Presently, the day of the Vow of Chanteiro is a local feast in Ares and Mugardos.

Source: Juan A. Carneiro Rey

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