The Feasts of El Carmen and La Magdalena of Cangas del Narcea (Asturias) have been a national pyrotechnic reference for decades. Between the 14th and 22nd July in the Villa de Cangas you can only perceive a smell, that of gunpowder. The pyrotechnic tradition in Cangas and the devotion to the gunpowder of the people from Cangas can be appreciated at any time of the year. Any celebration serves to be able, as it is said here, to "throw some rockets".
This devotion is taken to the extreme during the Feasts, which could not be conceived without the existence of the Peñas de la Pólvora (Gunpowder Associations), which in turn are grouped in the Federation of Peñas de la Pólvora.
The 40 existing Peñas, apart from organizing various traditional and cultural activities during the festivities, each contributes to its pyrotechnic shot. Joint rolls of rocks, singles, hand-flying, musical pyro, bomb, fireworks... is what the attendees of these parties are going to find. More than 15 pyrotechnic shots make no one indifferent.
The highlight of the festivities takes place on July 16 at 20:00 hours, when the Virgen del Carmen, impeccable and imposing thanks to the Society of Bienhechoras Nuestra Señora del Carmen, says goodbye to Santa María Magdalena and is taken in procession to the top of the Roman Bridge. Once there the President of the Society of Artesanos orders that the greatest prayer that can be made to a Virgin, LA DESCARGA, begin. More than 80,000 rockets pulled by 800 shooters and spurrs in an approximate time of 6 minutes. The Society of Artesanos, composed of the people of Cangas, is responsible for carrying out such a challenge, a fact that makes it unique. This centenary shot also has a Security Device that was recognized as the safest in Spain, taking it as a reference in other cities of the country.
To sump up, tradition, devotion, party... and a lot of gunpowder.