The Virgin of El Rocio

PROCESSION: Devotees carry the statue of the virgin through the streets of Almonte in Huelva.

EVERY spring hundreds of thousands of devotees converge at a shrine in Huelva to pay homage to the Virgin del Rocio, which for many people is Andalucia’s most famous pilgrimage of the year.
On May 25, the beautiful town of Almonte in Huelva saw the Virgin of El Rocio carried through the streets by pilgrims during a procession that encompasses the values, memory, and the shrine of El Rocio.
Children are held aloft and carried by the crowds so that they may touch the idol as it passes. La Blanca Paloma (The White Dove), as the effigy is affectionately known, will give protection to those infants who touch it.
At least 700 pilgrims set off from Malaga City at the weekend, and were gradually followed by many brotherhoods from along the coast in their journey and date with the Virgin del Rocio.
Tourists witnessed sights such as horses, oxen and people dressed in flamenco costumes parading the streets and clambering onto floats pulled by tractors to set off on their trips.
The event is actually considered by Catholic Spaniards from all over the region (and further afield) who attend to pay their respects to the virgin, as one of the most important religious events of the year

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