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A romería (Spanish) or romaria (Portuguese) is a religious pilgrimage. The term comes from romero/romeiro, meaning those travelling towards Rome. It is a Catholic celebration that consists of a trip or peregrination (in cars, floats, on horseback or on foot) that ends at a sanctuary or hermitage. People spend weeks preparing for this "pilgrimage" by cooking food and decorating their floats. It is not necessarily always a trip, but in some cases a celebration that lasts all day long. During this celebration, there is dancing, singing, eating and drinking, of course. People usually dress in Famenco dresses or jeans with a collared shirt.


One of the most famous examples of a romería is that of Nuestra Señora del Rocío, in which the faithful move to the Sanctuary of the Virgen del Rocío in the village of the Rocío, in Almonte, Huelva. The Romeria of Sant John of the Mountain, celebrated in Miranda de Ebro, is the second most important romeria in Spain behind El Rocío with more than 25.000 romeros.

Another one of the most representative examples is the Romería of the Virgen de la Cabeza (Andújar, Jaén), which is considered the oldest Romería of Spain, and consists of the displacement of the travellers coming from all over the country to the Sanctuary of the Virgen de la Cabeza, through 33 km of Andújar, in the heart of Sierra de Andujar natural park. This celebration is held the last Sunday of April, and is considered of national tourist interest.

The Romería of the Virgin of Navahonda, celebrated in spring in the Madrilenian municipality of Robledo de Chavela is representative of this tradition.

There are Romerias also in The Canary Islands. An example is La Romeria de Santiago Apostol, in Gáldar. Instead of focusing on Jesus, the floats usually praise the Virgin Mary with pictures and statues.

The New World[edit]

Neo-classical Guadalajara Cathedral

Another representative example, in Mexico, is the Romería of the Our Lady of Zapopan, which this considered the third most important peregrination in the country, after the one of the Virgin of Guadalupe, and the Virgin of San Juan de los Lagos. The Romería of the Virgin of Zapopan consists of a route 8 km in length, from the metropolitan Guadalajara Cathedral, to the Basilica of Our Lady of Zapopan. It is made every 12th of October, and figure of the virgin goes accompanied by more than 3,000,000 people.

In Costa Rica, it is traditional to make a romería to Cartago on August 2 to make requests and give thanks to the Virgin Mary black statue, locally nicknamed La Negrita, located inside the cathedral. People all over the country and even other Central American countries attend to it by foot or horse. In 2009, due to AH1N1 spreading risks it was officially cancelled, but the statue was taken on a tour to cities instead.

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