Did You Know There Is A Place In Spain Where You get To Marry The Woman You Want If You Can Rip Off The Head Of A Goose From A Boat!! • illuminaija
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Did You Know There Is A Place In Spain Where You get To Marry The Woman You Want If You Can Rip Off The Head Of A Goose From A Boat!!

Did You Know There Is A Place In Spain Where You get To Marry The Woman You Want If You Can Rip Off The Head Of A Goose From A Boat!!

This well-known tradition means “The Day of the Geese.” On this occasion, a goose is covered with grease and is tied very high above a body of water. Gentlemen then try to get a hold of the goose as they jump from their boat. 

The aim is to rip off the goose’s head, as they grab it. An act that should disqualify them from being called “Gentlemen”, I’d say. This competition is a test of their strength, endurance, and agility, which would make them eligible to wed the woman they adore. 

Did You Know There Is A Place In Spain Where You get To Marry The Woman You Want If You Can Rip Off The Head Of A Goose From A Boat!!

However, the custom is no longer practiced using a live goose, because of animal rights concerns. The Day of the Geese is merely practiced in Lekeitio, as part of the feast in San Antolin. 


The Day of the Geese is part of the Basque San Antolin festival, which is also commonly known as Antzar Eguna in the Basque language or Dia de Los Ganos in French. The Antzar Eguna is one of the most important days within the San Antolin festivities. 

Did You Know There Is A Place In Spain Where You get To Marry The Woman You Want If You Can Rip Off The Head Of A Goose From A Boat!!

This tradition which is held as part of the San Antolin festivities is celebrated in the fishing-town of Lekeitio in Spain. It is a competition that takes place around the 1st to the 8th of September, with the festival reaching its peak on the 5th and the goose grabbing happening every first Saturday of the said month. 

The Day of the Geese is a competition where the participants will try to decapitate a goose that is suspended on a rope held by spectators. The one who can successfully do it the fastest wins. 

Did You Know There Is A Place In Spain Where You get To Marry The Woman You Want If You Can Rip Off The Head Of A Goose From A Boat!!

There is no doubt it is one of the most unusual festivals in Spain. The origin of this goose tradition dates back over 300 years. They also do it during Andera Mari and Saan Roque festivals in Spain, and it is one of the many Spanish events that involve animals. 

However, due to the use of animals and especially beheading them, groups such as PETA have tried to end this competition. It is considered a gory or a form of animal abuse for other people.  

Did You Know There Is A Place In Spain Where You get To Marry The Woman You Want If You Can Rip Off The Head Of A Goose From A Boat!!

In the present time, because of popular request, the player can now decide what goose he wants to use. For his turn, he can choose if he wants the goose to be a real goose or a plastic goose. 

Did You Know There Is A Place In Spain Where You get To Marry The Woman You Want If You Can Rip Off The Head Of A Goose From A Boat!!

The harbor is the setting for the celebration and every year, thousands of Lekeitio inhabitants will wear the typical blue shirt of nankeen and gingham neckerchief also known as Arrantzales or Basque sailors. They will then draw a lottery system to determine who will be the one to go first. 

Did You Know There Is A Place In Spain Where You get To Marry The Woman You Want If You Can Rip Off The Head Of A Goose From A Boat!!

After which, as their fishing boats go to the middle of the harbor, two men will prepare a goose on the rope then a player will attempt to jump off and grab the greased goose and remove its head. 

Did You Know There Is A Place In Spain Where You get To Marry The Woman You Want If You Can Rip Off The Head Of A Goose From A Boat!!

To make the competition even more challenging, groups of people on either side of the Harbour will be the one responsible for pulling the ropes then let it fall slack so that the participant would have to jump into the air to get to the goose and subsequently fall into the water. 

Did You Know There Is A Place In Spain Where You get To Marry The Woman You Want If You Can Rip Off The Head Of A Goose From A Boat!!

The man and the goose are now held up in the air and dropped down into the water for a number of times. The idea is to twist or rip the goose’s head off the rope as quickly as possible while coping up with the vigorous movements. 

Did You Know There Is A Place In Spain Where You get To Marry The Woman You Want If You Can Rip Off The Head Of A Goose From A Boat!!

This will be repeated until either the young man fails and has been shaken loose or when he has successfully grabbed the goose’s head and removed it from the body. This festival started out as a competition for men to show their strength to be able to impress women. 

This is done as a way for them to be able to find a potential mate. But the competition has changed since then throughout the years to more of a festival event.

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