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The El Rocio Pilgrimage
From: 2014.06.13 To: 2014.06.13
The Rocío Pilgrimage is the most famous in the region, attracting nearly a million people from across Andalucia and the entire country. This is a tradition that began in the 15th century when a hunter from the village of Villamanrique discovered a statue of the Virgin Mary in a tree trunk near the Doñana park. Devotion to the statue began as a local affair, however, over the centuries it attracted pilgrims from as far away as Barcelona and the Canary Islands – and a healthy influx of foreign tourists. Every May brings a familiar scene to towns, villages and cities across Andalucia when the most devoted locals gear up their covered wagons and don traditional Andalucian clothing – broad brimmed hats and country garb for men and flamenco dresses for women – to head in the direction of the El Roció shrine. Some will also make the journey on horseback. The church of El Rocio, the home of the famous El Roció Virgin (Madonna of the Dew). To reach the shrine, pilgrims must traverse part of the Doñana park, which is a protected area. The climax of the festival is the weekend before Pentecost Monday. In the early hours of this Monday the Virgin is brought out of the church. This remarkable event is always televised on Canal Sur the Andalucian regional Television.