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The Galician rain

Published on 17/05/2013 06:48

The Galician rain


“Literature should have, like life itself, meteorology. Fog, wind, rain always tell man something.”
Ánxel Fole


If Galicia is Spain’s greenest and dampest region, it is because of the good work undertaken by water in this area, distributed inland by more than a thousand rivers. Sea fogs, fine dewdrops hanging in the air, capricious downpours from clouds and the smell of humus are characteristic images of this Atlantic region of rugged coastlines shaped by storms.

The Galician language is particularly rich in words that refer to rain. Chuvia or choiva (rain) become orballo (drizzle or dew), poalla or chuvisca if light. Different qualities will turn this drizzle into barbuña, barruñeira, barruzo, froallo, mocalleira or zarzallo, with their corresponding verbs. There are also chuvascos and chuvieiras, chaviñadas and chuvascadas, bátegas and fast chaparradas on days that are chuviñosos. In summer, there are isolated treboadas and trebóns (showers), arroiadas and torboadas, tormentas and tempestades.

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