Dorna Festival (Festa da Dorna)

In the seaside city of Ribeira, there is a celebration called La FESTA DA DORNA it is a celebration that started in 1948 and is celebrated every year for around a week up to the 24th of july. It has been official declared as a one of the official touristic attractions and parties of Galicia in 2005. The “Festa de Dorna” is today the biggest most popular festival of the city of Ribeira- an important port and fishing town located in the bay ría de Arousa and is one of the most well known events in Galicia- a province on the North West of Spain.

The event is characterized by the use of imaginative activities, and the participation in various teams which you can see flooding the streets during the day and night. The festival is a combination of traditional and modern styles with one of its main aspects being the active participation of the participants who through their creativity make the party a show to behold and for thousands of people to enjoy.

The organization of the festival is run by the cultural organization “R.eI. Cofradía da Dorna”, with the collaboration of the various teams who together organize the “Asamblea de Peñas Dorneiras”, with 88 registered teams during the 2015 year, which together resulted in more than 8,000 participants.


Regatta of Hand-Axe Made Floats Propelled by Sweat Blood and Tears. The Grand prize is cutty Sark. A regatta of carnival like floats constructed by the various teams has been happening since 1989. Exit from the Malecón in Ribeira to the field of the regatta at Coroso beach. 24th of July at 12:57 Pm.

Top Secret- Is a crowded activity where thousands of “dorneiros” group up in their teams and have a festive parade down the streets of Ribeira parodying a current event.

On the 24th of July in the afternoon there is “marea dorneira” flooding the “rúas y prazas” (streets and plazas) of Ribeira. The first started back in the fifties, but back then a lot less crowded.

Sing around the tavern competition:
Since the 1990’s, the teams have distinct tours through the “fanequeiras autorisadas” (taverns, bars, pubs) where each team, has at least one traditional song and one original song. On the Saturday before the 24th of July, except if it falls on the 23, then it is celebrated two Saturdays before. The final is in an open aired stage on the 23rd of july.

Soapbox Gran Prix. Since 1990 there has been an a soapbox exposition in the malecón starting at 17:18. The race begins from the top of the hill “Alto de Mámoa” and finishes at the town square, at 20:19. This is celebrated on the Sunday before the big day. In this event originality and humor is valued far more than the speed of the vehicles.

People-Powered Flying Machine Grand Prize:

Since 1991. In the Port of Ribeira on the 23rd of July at 19:27. From the the jetty port witty and courageous flying machines, with their equally insane contestants make a bold attempt to fight against the power of gravity as much as possible until they crash into the “clean and warm” water around the port.

Dorna Designed Games

Since 1989, original games thought of by the various Dorna teams have been played and enjoyed on the 24th of July during the “Romaría”, or during the days of the popular games of the earth and sea. Some examples are “Isar a candorca” (lifting a dead weight), “Lansamento de risón” (throwing an anchor), “Achikeitor” (removing water from a big container), and “Pesca do muxo radioactivo” (fishing for muxo in the harbour basin with fishing line and a hook with bait) these are some of the traditional games, but there are many more creative and classic games. You can watch and laugh, or you can participate and enjoy even more!

Music and the Party

There are a variety of different musical styles that can be heard during the party. These occur during the festival parades, concerts of contemporary and popular music, but also the sounds of local performance music.

The “Consiertaso”

This is a big musical event that is part of the closing celebration of the festival on the morning of the 24th or the 25th of July. Here you can hear an emotional interpretation of the anthem of the Dorna festival.

Other Activities

A Tapas Route (this is a culinary activity where different foods will be presented and eaten while travelling from place to place), A Local Crafts Fair, and a Cultural Party.