|Romería de Nuestra Señora de la Antigua de Manjavacas|
Castille La ManchaFestivalsRomería de Nuestra Señora de la Antigua de Manjavacas |
Date 1st and 3rd Sunday of August
MOTA DEL CUERVO (CUENCA) Description People start to concentrate at the chapel of the Virgin some seven kilometers from the town. Hot cocoa and buns are distributed to appease the cold dawn air.
The Virgin leaves in procession until arriving to the Milestone. There she is dispossessed of all her ornaments so that they do not get lost in the competition. Besides she is covered with a cloak so that she is not stained with the dust of the road. All cautions are few. Once the image is prepared the pallbearers catch the float, charge the Virgin on their shoulders and begin the race towards the town of Mota. Along the road they make relays, but always stopping for as short a time as possible. Only one longer stop is made at about half way, at the Well of the half league. There the indispensable seconds are taken to refresh the face and again to continue with the race.
The Virgin is accompanied in her race, by men and women of varied ages; even the people that cannot accompany her along the whole way accompany it for a short while. Even if strength fails there is a line of tractors and trucks after the squad of pallbearers that collect the stragglers. Along the road, vociferous people on the margins encourage the runners and cheers and praises to the Virgin are given. The race finishes in the Pocillo de la Virgen already in the town of Mota. There the image is uncovered, they are put on it again its ornaments, and it is carried in procession to the Parish of the town.
With this finishes the "Carrying of the Virgin". This is the beginning of the festivals to honor the patroness.
History At first, this festival took place in the month of April, but then it was changed to the month of September, perhaps in order to have the crops already harvested, the threshing grounds clean, and a little more money in the pocket to contribute to the celebration of the festivals. Later another change is made and they passed to August due mainly to the grape harvest that starts earlier year after year and almost coincides with the festivals. Currently, it all begins in the early morning of the first Sunday of August.
Other interesting facts The image is brought back fifteen days later. If the first race is made in the coolness of the morning, the trip back is done at noon, at two o'clock of the afternoon, with the sun in all its strength. The procedure is just the contrary, but with the aggravating detail that the heat increases the exhaustion of the runners, and the race is some minutes longer.
On arrival, and once the image is lodged in its chapel, those present have the opportunity of recovering their forces with some typical and tasty stews of lamb. Return to Castille La Mancha