Festival of the Noguera Pallaresa’s Raiers, the river’s fest in the Pallars!

Next Friday begins, once again, the Festival of the Noguera Pallaresa’s Raiers. La Diada takes place in Pobla de Segur and it is celebrated since 1979 to recall this old trade dedicated to the river transportation in the Noguera Pallaresa, an activity which was really important in the past. The “rais” are boats formed by sections of joined logs, which were formerly built to transport wood from the Pyrenees to the coast, taking advantage of the river flows. The Raiers (“loggers”) were the ones in charge of driving the boats downstream, defying the danger of the rocks and the water currents.

antic ofici raiers

The Diada are three days of celebration that begins on Friday with the cutting of a pine, as a metaphor of the “picadores’” job, the previous work to the building of the “rais”.

On Saturday, the Diada continues with morning activities, where “l’Espardenyada” stands out, the popular hike around the nearby mountains, remembering the climb on foot that the “loggers” had to do to return from the Ebro, and where RocRoi collaborates, in a clear commitment to sport and territory.

Espardenyada

On Saturday, there are also activities in the Llania Dam, where the “rais” assembly takes place, following the old traditional techniques. They tie the trunks with “ropes” made of birch, and the fix the rows with which they will steer “the raft”. On Saturday afternoon, there are more activities related to the “loggers”.  Some of them are held in the Espai Raier, an experiential museum devoted to this job. On Saturday night, there is a dinner of Pallars cuisine in which there is homage to people or institutions that have collaborated in the trade of raier: they are awarded  “La Ganxa d’Or” (the golden hook).

raiers moderns

And on Sunday,  the central event of la diada takes place with the descent of the “rais” in the Noguera Pallaresa. The “Raiers” go to the Llania Dam and where the “rais” begin the trip down the river with lots of people watching the descent. The descent is about six kilometers long and during all the navigation the river banks are full of people cheering them. The “Raiers”, dressed in old costumes as in the past, row down the river, always with their feet wet in the river and their heads hot under the sun. The arrival to the Pobla de Segur is a burst of music and joy. The day culminates with a shared meal on the riverside that brings together hundreds of people each year. Below you’ll find the complete program of the celebration:

programa de la Diada dels RaiersWe are telling  you about this celebration because it is a Pallars tradition and it takes place in the Noguera Pallaresa river. And also because rais and rafting have a lot in common! Obviously, rafts are made of rubber and  they are much more modern boats; they are used for leisure, and not as a trade. But the adrenaline of going down the river is the same!

Grab your diary and organize a perfect weekend of tradition and nature, emotion and culture. Come and enjoy the river on such a special date!!! We wait for you all!!!

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