Fire blazed in the darkness, our faces illuminated in the cool night air. I felt a breeze across my neck and heard faint cackling coming from behind me. I turned aroud at lightening speed to see Witches surrounding us, uttering a Galician spell as the strong smell of alcohol burnt my nostril.
No I was not in a horror movie, I was about to experience traditional Spanish Queimada!
The masters of ceremonies at Pueblo Ingles kept maiing hints towards ‘Queimada’. Most of the Anglos had no idea what he was going on about but a few of the Spaniards had an inkling; they kept it quiet so not to spoil the suprise.
Queimada is a Galician tradition. Galicia is an autonomous community in NorthWest Spain and it even has its own language, Galician!
Queimada is a very alcoholic punch made from Galician augardente and flavoured with fruits, herbs, lemon peel, sugar and even coffee!
Many ingredients can be used for Queimada
When the master of ceremonies was preparing the punch in a large bowl, a member of staff and some fellow Anglos and Spaniards suprised us by coming out from no where dressed as witches! They recited a traditional spell whilst looking as creepy as possible! The spell ensures that those drinking the queimada get ‘special powers’ from it and that any bad spirits are scared away! Oooooh!
Queimada has an unusual blue flame whilst it’s being prepared
It was all very alian for me but I relished taking part in a Spanish tradition.
The punch itself was Very alcoholic! Even sniffing it brought tears to my eyes! I persevered and drank a glass or two. I am English after all! An American friend called Max drank 6 cups of the stuff; suprisingly he could still walk after!
What a fun experience!
The Spell that is read out during the preparation of Queimada!
|In Galician language||In English|
Mouchos, curuxas, sapos e bruxas.
Demos, trasgos e diaños,
espíritos das neboadas veigas.
Corvos, píntegas e meigas:
feitizos das menciñeiras.
Podres cañotas furadas,
fogar dos vermes e alimañas.
Lume das Santas Compañas,
mal de ollo, negros meigallos,
cheiro dos mortos, tronos e raios.
Ouveo do can, pregón da morte;
fuciño do sátiro e pé do coello.
Pecadora lingua da mala muller
casada cun home vello.
Averno de Satán e Belcebú,
lume dos cadáveres ardentes,
corpos mutilados dos indecentes,
peidos dos infernais cus,
muxido da mar embravecida.
Barriga inútil da muller solteira,
falar dos gatos que andan á xaneira,
guedella porca da cabra mal parida.
Con este fol levantarei
as chamas deste lume
que asemella ao do Inferno,
e fuxirán as bruxas
a cabalo das súas vasoiras,
índose bañar na praia
das areas gordas.
¡Oíde, oíde! os ruxidos
que dan as que non poden
deixar de queimarse no augardente
quedando así purificadas.
E cando este beberaxe
baixe polas nosas gorxas,
quedaremos libres dos males
da nosa alma e de todo embruxamento.
Forzas do ar, terra, mar e lume,
a vós fago esta chamada:
se é verdade que tendes máis poder
que a humana xente,
eiquí e agora, facede que os espíritos
dos amigos que están fóra,
participen con nós desta Queimada.
Owls, barn owls, toads and witches.
Demons, goblins and devils,
spirits of the misty vales.
Crows, salamanders and midges,
charms of the folk healer(ess).
Rotten pierced canes,
home of worms and vermin.
Wisps of the Holy Company,
evil eye, black witchcraft,
scent of the dead, thunder and lightning.
Howl of the dog, omen of death,
maws of the satyr and foot of the rabbit.
Sinful tongue of the bad woman
married to an old man.
Satan and Beelzebub’s Inferno,
fire of the burning corpses,
mutilated bodies of the indecent ones,
farts of the asses of doom,
bellow of the enraged sea.
Useless belly of the unmarried woman,
speech of the cats in heat,
dirty turf of the wicked born goat.
With this bellows I will pump
the flames of this fire
which looks like that from Hell,
and witches will flee,
straddling their brooms,
going to bathe in the beach
of the thick sands.
Hear! Hear the roars
of those that cannot
stop burning in the firewater,
becoming so purified.
And when this beverage
goes down our throats,
we will get free of the evil
of our soul and of any charm.
Forces of air, earth, sea and fire,
to you I make this call:
if it’s true that you have more power
here and now, make the spirits
of the friends who are outside,
take part with us in this Queimada.