Sevilla D20 - Pilgrimages

By coincidence, we are in Andalucia at the time of the annual pilgrimages. The one to the tiny village of Santa Rocío is by far the most popular (attracting almost a million people) and colorful, and its objective is a visit to the 13th century statue of the Virgen del Rocío (Virgin of the Dew). 

Many of the 'brotherhoods' (hermandades -- or members of a specific church) make the 3-4 day journey, in colorfully decorated 'carretas' (wagons) drawn by oxen and in full traditional Andalucian costumes. It's a tradition that dates back to the 13th century and takes place 7 weeks after Easter. 

The brotherhoods leave town on a rolling basis (or else the entire city would be paralyzed!) and this morning, unbeknownst to me, it was the turn of a brotherhood from the neighborhood. So I walked right into it, on my way to class! How lucky can I get? (except of course, I didn't have my camera with me, expecting to just go to class... So cell phone pix it was.)

What a joyous event this was! "Colorful" is an understatement for sure: each carreta is decorated by its owner in their own way -- some covered with lace, others with flowers -- and adorned with various objects. The very young to the not-so-young participate and dress up beautifully. Fervor and enthusiasm are palpable. The oxen are well behaved, though the smell of their poop can be overwhelming in a procession of 50+ carrettas that stop every few minutes along the way. I was impressed by the job at 'cleaning up' after the procession: not a trace left of the excrements except perhaps for a faint smell ;)

Needless to say I missed most of my morning class: I had a good excuse, right? ;)

The complete set of pix is on my website.

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