Every year, at the beginning of November, Carbajo celebrates a chestnut party: the Celtic-Folk Magusto Festival. Magusto is Portuguese for “chestnut party.” Carbajo is indeed located near the border with Portugal, in Extremadura. It is a place between mountains, in the middle of nowhere. At this Magusto party, you can eat delicious roasted chestnuts, attend and dance to concerts performed by iconic folkloric groups all day long, drink and eat the typical local lunch and dinner. Quite a day for a 200 people village, right?
The Magusto (or Magosto, in Spanish) is a very ancient celebration, probably of pagan origins -the Celtic Samhain. Nowadays, it is still celebrated on the north and west of the Iberian Peninsula. Back then, there would have been a whole ritual pointing out the relation among the fire, the earth, the trees, and the sun. It is believed that chestnuts were collected and roasted to be offered to the deceased. No one else could touch them. Eventually, however, someone decided that living people should also participate and eat them! Chestnuts used to be the base of the Iberian diet before corn and potato came from America: they were the “french fries” of the time; flour was made from it, liquors, sweets. The list was endless!
In Carbajo, on this day, every activity is theme-related to the chestnuts. For instance, the day starts with a trekking route around a particular place nearby -every year is different. Next, in order to rest a little bit, there are a couple of conferences, mostly about nature. Sometimes they release a wild animal that has been taken care of -a vulture or such. And then the show is on! The local association prepares typical food, the bar starts serving drinks, and the music begins to play. It is always folk-related, and many groups from all over Europe have already performed there. Everybody can dance the typical folkloric juéllega. Join them!
There is also an artisans’ market, where you can buy local products. This celebration has been going on for over a decade, so it has already a significant public. Many people usually camp in the surrounding area, right outside the football stadium. It does not matter; there is plenty of space!
Carbajo itself has nothing remarkable to visit, but the surroundings are just amazing. At the very core of the Taejo International Natural Park (the only cross-border natural park of Europe, as a matter of fact), when you get there, you enter a wild world. Be careful while on the car: a deer or a group of wild boars could decide to cross the road at that very moment. Wherever you look around, you do not see houses, just virgin land. Not far away, you will find the Tagus, the longest river in Spain. You can sail it on a touristic boat: you will see places that until a few years ago only wild animals and a few very athletic locals had been able to witness.
All in all, if you find yourself looking for a plan at the beginning of November, and you like nature, good music, and good food… then this is the place to be!
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