Romeria del Roca - El Rocio is a place located in the northwestern part of the Donana National Park, and it has 1650 inhabitants. Namely, this place is significant for the event that is organized every year, 50 days after Easter.
The Romeria del Roca pilgrimage is one of the oldest events in Andalusia, dating back to the 13th century. It is believed that a local hunter from the village of Villamanrique came across the image of the Virgin Mary in a tree trunk in Donana National Park. In 1653, the Virgin of Las Rocinas was declared the patroness of the rural area of Almonte and El Rocio. Since then, pilgrims have been coming from all over Andalusia, but also from all over Spain. The carts are richly decorated, the women wear flamenco dresses in Romani style, while the men wear gray trousers, hats and short jackets. The statue of the Virgin Mary is taken out of the church and carried through the city.
El Rocio is reached on Fridays before Holy Mondays. High mass is celebrated on Sundays at 10 a.m. in El Rel de Rocio, and on Sundays there is evening prayer.
During the religious holiday, this place turns into a place of socializing and entertainment, delicious food is served, songs about the pilgrimage reminiscent of flamenco songs are sung, horse races are organized and numerous other activities that fill this Andalusian holiday.
Accommodation is extremely difficult to find, so many visitors choose camping.
The event represents the tradition of Andalusia, and the closer you get to the local population and their customs, the sooner you will get to know the soul of Seville.
Author of the text:
Maja Glavaš, Bachelor with Honours in Communicology. Works in Tourism.
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Photo by Chris Slupski on Unsplash