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Alfombras Florais: Flower Carpets

4 June 2021 | By University of Vigo

Image | Flower Carpets - A Guarda - Spain

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De maio a xuño as casas e as rúas da Guarda énchense de flores!

A primavera aflora na Guarda a través das alfombras florais. Trátase de obras efímeras de arte popular deseñadas e confeccionadas de xeito comunitario. Unha festa de culto cristián, que se celebra durante o fin de semana seguinte á celebración do Corpus Christi, na que participan as distintas cofradías de pesca do concello da Guarda. A súa orixe, de culto precristián, está vinculada ás celebracións primaverais dos Maios.

Os traballos comezan un mes antes coa recollida de elementos vexetais nos montes próximos (tulla, mimosa, buxo, piona…). As tarefas repártense entre a veciñanza: unhas recollen o verde no monte, outras pícano nas casas que se converten en lugares de reunión comunitaria. Nos últimos anos incorporáronse outros elementos como a palla e o serrín. A última semana adícase á recollida das flores máis delicadas (pampullo, hortensias, árnica, rosas, cravos…).

A confección destas alfombras implica unha tarefa comunitaria, cada sección require dunhas vinte persoas para organizar os materiais necesarios, número que se incrementa a medida que se achega o fin de semana. Involúcranse veciñas e veciños de diferentes idades e aldeas, constituíndo unha práctica colabortiva e mui participativa.

A elaboración das alfombras comeza na tarde do sábado e continúa sen descanso durante toda a noite. Os deseños mantéñense en segredo até ese momento: motivos florais, animais, figurativos, abastractos, persoaxes infantís ou representacións mariñeiras e relixiosas que se debuxan no chao das rúas da vila. Logo, esses deseños son coloreados con flores, vexetais e sal tinguido. En particular, realízase unha alfombra de sal na que a procesión fai unha ofrenda ao mar. Á mañá do domingo, a veciñanza percorre as rúas da vila. Estas alfombras duran apenas unhas horas, pois a procesión relixiosa pasa por riba delas.

A Asociación Cultural Alfombras da Guarda, creada en 2018, é a encargada na actualidade de velar pola promoción e o mantemento da tradición histórica das alfombras florais, alén de dar a coñecer, pór en valor e visibilizar o traballo e o orgullo que supón esta festa para a veciñanza. Como indican nas súas redes sociais:

Non se trata só de facer alfombras, esta festa é ilusión, tempo compartido, emoción, lembranzas, sorrisos e bágoas, devoción e dor, falar e escoitar. Facer alfombras é a xente que as fai posíbel, agora e sempre!


From May to June the houses and streets of A Guarda are filled with flowers!

Spring emerges in A Guarda through floral carpets. These are ephemeral works of popular art designed and created by the community. A festival of Christian worship, held during the weekend following the celebration of Corpus Christi, in which the different fishing brotherhoods of the municipality of A Guarda take part. Its pre-Christian origin is linked to the spring celebrations of Os Maios.

The work begins a month before with the collection of plant elements in the nearby mountains. The tasks are shared among the neighbours: some collect the green on the hill, others collect it in the houses, which become meeting places for the community. The last week is dedicated to picking the most delicate flowers. The making of these carpets involves a communal task, each section requires about twenty people to organise the necessary materials, a number that increases as the weekend approaches. Residents of different ages and villages are involved, making it a collaborative and highly participatory practice.

Carpet-making begins on Saturday afternoon and continues non-stop throughout the night. The designs are kept secret until then: floral motifs, animals, figurative, abstract, children’s characters or seafaring and religious representations are drawn on the streets of the village. These designs are then coloured with flowers, vegetables and dyed salt. In particular, a salt carpet is made on which the procession makes an offering to the sea. On Sunday morning, people walk through the streets of the village. These carpets last only a few hours, as the religious procession passes over them.

The Alfombras da Guarda Cultural Association, created in 2018, is currently in charge of ensuring the promotion and maintenance of the historical tradition of the floral carpets, as well as publicising, valuing and making visible the work and pride of this festival. As they indicate in their social networks:

It is not just about making carpets, this party embodies illusion, shared time, emotion, memories, smiles and tears, devotion and pain, talk and listen. Making carpets are the people who make them possible, now and always!

Blog written by University of Vigo

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