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Flag of AsturiasAsturias - Popular culture

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Here, too, it is necessary to mention an enviable vitality in the uses, trades, festivities and music which make up a well-defined popular culture. The traveller will find in Asturias, two of the cultural phenomena which reflect here as in Galicia, the influence of the Celtic ancestors: the bagpipe music and the existence of the horreos (granaries). It is quite easy to get to know the music of the gaita for all one has to do is attend a typical pilgrimage or the popular verbenas (outdoor dances), which are particularly frequent during the summer months. The horreos, in turn, are also found in almost any town in the western half of the region and are somewhat different from the Galician version. The Asturian horreo, to begin with, has a square shape. As for the local handicrafts, the black ceramics of Llamas de Mouro stand out because of its unmistakable texture and its forms, and also the clay pottery of brownish tones, made in Faro. The old forges operated by hydraulic energy continues to produce the tools which have always been required to work the fields, though the most outstanding article of this craft work is the knife from Taramundi, with a carved wooden handle. The baskets made with strips of chestnut and hazel wood are less frequent though it is still possible to find some fine examples made with the techniques which have always been used.

The most famous of the Asturian celebrations is, without a doubt, the Descent of the Sella (from Arriondas to Ribadesella), a competition in which canoeists from all over the world participate. We should also consider that any pilgrimage is a fine occasion for coming into contact with the music, dances, rites and espichas (abundant and tasty picnics), in which the home-made turnover pies and the bollu preneu cannot be lacking.

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