Festivals - Virgen de la Cabeza Pilgrimage

Celebrate the pilgrimage with with song, dance and music. © Michelle Chaplow
Celebrate the pilgrimage with with song, dance and music.
Virgen de la Cabeza, Ronda

Sun 5 May 2019
 Sun 3 May 2020

(confirmed by brotherhood)

One of Andalucia’s most picturesque “romerías” traditionally took place every year in Ronda on a Sunday late in May or early in June. However in late 2016 it was decided to change the date to the first Sunday in May. This is the Virgen de la Cabeza pilgrimage and it fills Ronda with bright colours and festive music with a procession that brings the “Virgin of the Head” statue from the la Merced Church, across the famous “Puente Nuevo” with its dizzying views and out of town to the hermitage.

 

 


The enthusiastic participants in the Virgen de la Cabeza pilgrimage dress for the occasion with bright, fancy flamenco dresses and traditional country attire for men.

Before the procession there is a mass at the La Merced Church and then, once in motion, the entire affair makes an abrupt halt at 12:00 to say prayers and baptise new members of the Virgen de la Cabeza brotherhood. Then the Virgin is transported to the hermitage where the festival begins with song, dance and music mainly from flutes and tambourines.

The Virgin is carried to the hermitage.  © Michelle Chaplow
The Virgin is carried to the hermitage.

This is a lovely day out for the entire family and an ideal opportunity to see the most traditional side of life in Andalucia. If you’d like to blend in, visit local shops in advance to ensure you get the latest fashions.

If you’re planning to stay in Ronda, book well in advance. Ronda has plenty of accommodation and a fabulous Parador Hotel. Also the town spends at least a week gearing up for the Virgen de la Cabeza romería with special masses and events like the “Children’s Awards” which bring school children in to kiss the Virgin’s feet and receive a special medal for their participation.

While in Ronda, remember there is much to see and do in Málaga province as well.

Ronda’s Virgen de la Cabeza Romería is organised by the Nuestra Señora de la Cabeza (Our Lady of the Head) Catholic brotherhood. Visit  the brotherhood facebook page to check the date.