(Leer en español) El Rocío Pilgrimage is celebrated in the village of El Rocío (Almonte, Huelva). However, since days earlier, thousands of pilgrims transiting Andalusia to reach the shrine where the White Dove, the Virgin of Rocío awaits. El Rocío Pilgrimage is a long-awaited date in Seville and there are several Sevillian brotherhoods and groups that take the path to fulfill the tradition.
In addition to singing, dancing and party, the religious aspect is above all. Happiness leading to Sevillian to enjoy the journey because they are more close to the Virgin of Rocío with each step. Thousands of Sevillian start the Pilgrimage walking, riding a horse or in a carriage to reach El Rocío on Pentecost weekend or Whitsuntide, May 20th this year, 50 days after Easter Sunday.
History of El Rocío Pilgrimage
Such is the devotion that awakens the Virgen of Rocío their faithful, that it spread throughout the planet. There are 117 Brotherhoods recognized and sponsored by the First (Matriz) or others very old. In addition there are 80 rocieros groups, reaching such remote places as Australia or Brazil.
In the 14th century was the first reference to the Virgin of Rocinas and in the 17th century, with the creation of the First Brotherhood, already exist the religious fervor and called she Virgen del Rocío. With the 20th century arrives the great expansion of devotion.
The Sevillian lives El Rocío Pilgrimage as a own religious holiday over the city. The image of thousands of pilgrims through Doñana from Seville is a typical and historical picture that comes after Easter and April Fair. More than 30 thousand people cross the Doñana Natural Park in these days for the Virgin of Rocío Pilgrimage.
Rocío Pilgrimage Brotherhoods in Seville
From the city of Seville starts the Pilgrimage of five Brotherhoods. All carry their Simpecado in a oxen-drawn chariot. It is a banner that represents their devotion to the Virgen of Rocío. They leave their parish for a journey while are accompanied by thousands of Sevillian who want to see out to the pilgrims. Seville lives a religious festival that will be repeated when the Brotherhoods welcome back.
- The oldest and largest of the city belongs to Triana, which since 1814 honors the Queen of the Marshes. It is therefore the forerunner of El Rocio Pilgrimage in Seville.
- Known as Sevilla, they began his first trip in 1951. They begin the journey in the Church of El Salvador, where on Thursday morning is celebrated the Romeros Mass to see out to the pilgrims. Salvador Square presents a singular stamp that day, with the presence of hundreds of faithful, on foot or on horse to begin the journey after the Mass. Before leaving Seville, symbolic stops are made, emphasizing the stop at the Cathedral, announced with the ringing of the La Giralda bells.
You can enjoy this magnificent day at Universal Café Brewery or Agustín & Company in Salvador Square or see the splendor of La Giralda from the bars at Mateos Gago street. For to live with joy the Brotherhood output of the city by the Bridge of San Telmo, there is no better place that the bars in Arenal neighborhood.
- Cerro del Águila began his Pilgrimage on the way in 1987. It has a large following in the neighborhood and they are considered ecological for their great respect for the environment in the way through Doñana.
- Sevilla Sur began their first Pilgrimage the same year and they have a close relationship with the Civil Guard and security forces.
- Macarena is the last Sevillian Brotherhood joined to El Rocio Pilgrimage. They started their first journey in 1991 and its departure and arrival next to the Basilica and Arch of the Macarena are also very followed by the faithful.
El Rocío Pilgrimage in Seville
After three or more days on the way of pilgrimage, the Brotherhoods are coming to El Rocío. After fulfilling the previous liturgy of the exit of the Virgin of Rocío, everything is already to start the procession. On Sunday night to Monday of Pentecost, at 3:00, when the Simpecado of the First Brotherhood arrives to the hermitage, the people of Almonte jump the fence to reach the Virgin. The jump of the fence, salto de la reja, is now a ritual of impatience. You can see the video of jump of the fence 2015.
The Virgin of Rocío returns to its chapel around 12:00 and Sevillian people begin their way back to the city. Three days more to ask the Virgin of Rocío for health to see her again the following year. With the entry of the Brotherhoods and cheerful welcome from neighbors, comes the end of Rocío Pilgrimage in Seville one year more.