When & Where The Romeria-Del-Rocio-Almonte religous Spanish fiesta usually takes place the Saturday before Pentecost Sunday which is in late May/June when Easter is early or early May when Easter is early. This pilgrimage is in El Rocio Cathedral -Almonte in Andalucia - Spain. The next pilgrimage is June 12-13th 2011.
What to expect It's first and foremost a religous pilgrimage of 1 million people (the biggest in Europe) to worship Virgen del Rocio (Madonna of the Dew) but secondly it's an awesome Spanish fiesta which carries on into the early hours. People (Romeros) travel from all over Spain in middle aged/gypsy clothes and in horse drawn wagons to the Guadalquivir River by the village of Almonte to see the virgin Mary statue in the cathedral. Cars aren't allowed at this Spanish festival. The Romeros arrive at dawn and go to mass as a statue of Mary is brought to the church.
The Romeros chant "Viva la Reina de la Marisma" ("Long live the Queen of the Marshes") after the procession is the Salto de la Verja (Leap Over the Railings) as young men storm the altar hoist the statue of Mary high in the air as it is paraded around the marshes for several hours with singing, dancing and a bit of wine flowing. The next three days sees people baptising themselves on general gypsy celebrations takes hold of the fields of Rocio. There's 2 parts to this festival- the pilgrimage and the celebrations at Almonte.
Accommodation in Alicante There's lots of great hotels and quality hostels and pensiones in Huelva , Seville, Almonte and El Rocio in Spain available here
Romeria Del Rocio History
History This great Spanish Fiesta the Virgen Del Rocio has been celebrated by the river near Almonte for over 800 years.In 1758 the Romeria Del Rocio has been celebrated at Whitsun which is the fiftieth day after Easter Sunday.