The “Xenerais da Ulla” is the most outstanding feature of the Ulla region’s traditional Carnival. It has been held in the surroundings of Santiago since the first half of the 19th century: the “Xenerais” (generals) ride on horseback, dressed in colourful military garments similar to those of that time, but they also include purely carnivalesque adornments, which the horses also wear.
The finery, of both the “Xenerais” and their horses, stand out due to their tradition, originality, colours and degree of elaboration, making them highly valuable.
The “Entroido da Ulla” (Carnival) originated in the first half of the 19th century and is based on the combats that took place in the region during that century: the invasion of Napoleon’s army, the 1846 revolution and the Carlist wars. Its main characters are therefore brightly coloured figures that recreate those historical episodes.
“Xenerais” and adorned dispatch riders make up the spectacular nature of this authentic expression of Galicia’s traditional Carnival.
In view of its great interest, in September 2013 it was declared a Festival of Galician Tourist Interest.
A Ulla is a natural region of inland Galicia. The magnificent River Ulla, rich in trout, salmon and lamprey, forms the backbone of this beautiful region, dominated by the silhouette of Pico Sacro, Galicia’s most mythical peak.
Apart from Santiago de Compostela, a World Heritage City and destination of the Way of St. James, which crosses the entire region, it also features the beautiful “pazos” (country manors) of Oca and Ribadulla. Their gardens, declared “Historical-Artistic Monuments,” are especially striking at Carnival time, blooming with camellias.
But there is a lot more. A green landscape of hills and valleys criss-crossed with rivers and trails, ancient churches and monasteries, traditional architecture and the genuineness of its inhabitants make this a highly interesting territory.
The region of A Ulla exemplifies all the traditional and gastronomic variety of Galician cuisine, admired due to the outstanding quality of its ingredients. The region’s gastronomy is therefore one of its main attractions; it also produces cheeses, Albariño wines, eau-de-vies and liqueurs with a Protected Designation of Origin.
Xenerais da Ulla in Santiago parishes
Complete information and timetables in other parishes in the region: www.xeneraisdaulla.gal