Carmona's Romeria (pilgrimage)

Carmona’s Romeria (pilgrimage)

Each town or city in Spain has its Holy Patron. In Carmona, it is the Virgen de Gracia due to the fact that Carmona was recaptured from the Muslim as early as 1.247 by the catholic king Fernando III de Castilla and that the “image” (or small statue) of the Virgen de Gracia was found in 1.290 not far from present location of the hermitage. Thus, each first Sunday of September the whole town of Carmona parade in the streets to celebrate its patron peregrinating one kilometre down to the hermitage where the celebration lasts the rest of the afternoon. Romeria comes from the word “romero” meaning rosemary. This aromatic plant is not only used in the kitchen. Fresh clumps are also burnt to purify houses or churches.

1. Morning parade. For us, foreigners, it is the last parade of the year. But what a parade!  This year, the first Sunday of September being too close from the nine days celebration the saint Patron (8-16 September), this celebration took place on Sunday 31 August 2014.

In June, I published an article about one of the most famous pilgrimage of Spain in my Article entitled  Rocio’s pilgrimage seen from Carmona. There are similarities as far as the parade is concerned.

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They wear same type of hat, cane and costume. However, the difference is noteworthy as it is a typical Carmona celebration.  Despite the fact that the chart of Rocio’s brotherhood  is accompanying that of Carmona’s Saint patron,

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at Carmona’s pilgrimage parade, the whole city takes part. I only got a digital camera in 2004. In this article, the inhabitants of Carmona will see pictures of this parade from 2004, 2008, 2011, 2013 as well as – naturally and mostly – this year.

It starts at 8.30a.m. by a mass in the modern extension of the town where the May Carmona’s feria is held and where adorned carts, horse riders or donkeys have plenty of space to regroup themselves. In el Rocio’s pilgrimage carts are not parading because they have to wait at the outskirt of the town to go on a long distance. These carts only cross the town and do only a two miles ride down to the hermitage pine wood where people will eat and dance in the afternoon.

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2013

2013

They wait for the mass getting out at around 9.30 when the parade starts.

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Then it starts. Horse riders announce the virgin.

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2013

2013

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2004

2004

It is followed by the pilgrims among whom is the Town’s Mayor announcing the chart of the Virgin. The young music band follows behind.

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They are followed by horse driven carriages.

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More pilgrins in between while more horse drawn carriages greet the people they know.

The procession is so extended that you can easily follow them throughout and take as many photos as you wish. They cross the new town, the old town… leaving Puerta de Córdoba around 1pm.

I am pleased to post , next photo, one of the town’s photographer, him who never appears otherwise.

 

 

 

 

 

2008

2008

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Then come the adorned carts

2008

2008

Women and men of same association (peñas) dress the same. Here is the cart of the association of “La Giralda”

2008

2008

2008

2008

2004

2004

They accompany songs with “palmas” (hand clapping).

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tractors hoist the carriages

2008

2008

They even dance sevillana

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The virgin is exposed in her hermitage at 1 km down

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You can enter the hermitage anytime that afternoon.

2. Afternoon festivity . There is a wide space opposite full of shady trees where everybody can spend the rest of the afternoon together cooking in the open air, drinking and dancing. That’s where horses and carriages are parked.

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This young couple was one of this morning’s horse riders. Here they are now.

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 Smiles show the ambience.

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2011

2011

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 You sing, clap hands.  With a guitar it’s even better.

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It’s a pleasure to move around.

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Even the police discreetly watch that everything goes smoothly.

2011

2011

If you are around on the fisrt Sunday of September, don’t hesitate to take part to the parade and to the afternoon regrouping. You can take a special shuttle to the hermitage. You will be warmly welcomed!