Every year this famous romeria (pilgrimage) to the Hermitage of El Rocío at Almonte, Huelva, takes place on the second day of Pentecost. It dates back to 1653 and nowadays attracts up to a million pilgrims. On Whitsunday a papal mass is said before the Virgen del Rocio is carried through the streets.
|Typical Romeria scene (foto:lavozdigital)|
The pilgrims come from all directions, but the most picturesque is the crossing by boat from the Bajo de Guia on the riverfront at Sanlúcar. From the 19th May onwards, brotherhoods of pilgrims will cross with their horses and caravans and even 4x4 cars into the Coto Doñana and on for over 40 kilometres towards Almonte, many spending the night in the open. The whole operation has to be supervised by the authorities as the Coto is protected national parkland.
|The Ermita del Rocio (foto:uciencia.uma.es)|
Many years ago the Sanlúcar bodega Viuda Manjón sold a brand of Manzanilla called El Rocío which was sold to González Byass. Unfortunately in the last few years they too have ceased production of this very good wine.
|The original Manzanilla label (foto:+jerez)|