Monday, October 18, 2010


La queimada can be made anytime. My understanding is that it´s often performed at New Year - to banish meigas or ill-wishers in general for the coming year. We did one once in Chicago for a house warming.

Popularly thought to date back to the Celts, wikipedia points out that orujo (Galician Grappa, aguardiente, aqua vit, or white alcohol distilled from the grape skins after pressing)could only be made after the Arabs (!) introduced the alambique in the middle ages (7th or 8th century).

The conjuro, or incantation, only dates from the late 1960´s. I´m afraid it´s one of those things that sounds much better before translation.


1 liter orujo
150 grams white sugar
lemon rind
a few coffee beans, pieces of apple and orange (optional)

You will need a heat-proof bowl (the clay ones pictured are typical). Add all ingredients and mix well. Carefully set mixture alight, you´re looking for a blue flame. Continue stirring, lifting mixture with a ladle and allowing it to fall back into the bowl while reciting the conjuro.

Keep stirring until the flames subside considerably (the best queimada I´ve ever had was at a restaurant in Baamonde and it was burning for at least 45 minutes). Serve hot.


Mouchos, coruxas, sapos e bruxas.
Demos, trasgos e diaños,
espritos das neboadas veigas.
Corvos, píntigas e meigas,
feitizos das manciñeiras.
Podres cañotas furadas,
fogar dos vermes e alimañas.

Lume das Santas Compañas,
mal de ollo, negros meigallos,
cheiro dos mortos, tronos e raios.

Oubeo do can, pregón da morte;
fuciño do sátiro e pe do coello.
Pecadora lingua da mala muller
casada cun home vello.

Averno de Satán e Belcebú,
lume dos cadáveres ardentes,
corpos mutilados dos indecentes,
peidos dos infernais cus,
muxido da mar embravescida.
Barriga inútil da muller solteira,
falar dos gatos que andan á xaneira,
guedella porca da cabra mal parida.

Con este fol levantarei as chamas
deste lume que asemella ao do Inferno,
e fuxirán as bruxas a cabalo das súas escobas,
índose bañar na praia das areas gordas.

¡Oíde, oíde! os ruxidos que dan
as que non poden deixar de queimarse
no augardente quedando así purificadas.

E cando este brebaxe baixe polas nosas gorxas,
quedaremos libres dos males da nosa ialma
e de todo embruxamento.

Forzas do ar, terra, mar e lume,
a vós fago esta chamada:
si é verdade que tendes máis poder que a humana xente,
eiquí e agora, facede cos espritos dos amigos que están fóra,
participen con nós desta queimada.

In English:

Owls, owls, toads and witches.
Demons, goblins and devils
spirits of the mist-filled valleys.

Crows, salamanders and sorceresses,
spells of the quack doctors.
Leaky rotten reeds,
home of worms and vermin.

Fire of the souls in torment,
evil eye, black spells,
stench of the dead, thunder and lightning.

Howling dog, portents of death;
satyr's snout and rabbits foot.
Sinning tongue of a bitter woman
married to an old man.

Underworld of Satan and Beelzebub
fire of burning corpses,
mutilated bodies of the wretched,
farts from infernal asses,
roar of the raging sea.

Useless womb of a spinster
yowling of cats in heat
Dirty hair of stillborn goat.

With this ladle I will lift the flames
of this fire similar to Hell
and the witches will flee on their broomsticks,
going to bathe at the beach of thick sand.

Listen, listen! The roars are
those who cannot stop burning
in the spirit and are so purified.
And when this concoction goes down our throats,
we will be free from the evils in our souls
and all spells.

Forces of air, land, sea and fire
to you I make this call:
If it is true that you have more than human power
here and now, make the spirits of friends who are outside
join us for this queimada.

No comments:

Post a Comment