Traditional Romería in Coín (Málaga).
Pilgrimage to the shrine of the Virgen de la Fuensanta
Coín prepares for the annual Traditionel Romería (pilgrimage or pilgrimage) to the shrine of the Virgen de la Fuensanta, which takes place on the first weekend of June. A popular tradition mixing religious devotion with joyous celebration. The origin of the Romería is based on a legend – dating back to 1487 – about the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She has been the patron saint of the city ever since.
Ermita de la Fuensanta – Decorated floats
On the first Saturday of June at 10 am, the 5-kilometre journey to the shrine of the Virgin Mary begins. A procession of some 50 decorated carts and floats passes through the countryside around CoÍn. These carts and wagons are decorated in Romanesque style, with branches, flowers and religious symbols, and are pulled by oxen, donkeys, horses and some tractors. The scene is a reminder of the gypsy wagons that used to travel through Andalusia. On Sunday morning, the most beautifully decorated wagon is chosen and the winner has the honour of accompanying the Virgin back to San Juan Bautista church in Coín.
Baptism in the river Pereilas
One of the most picturesque parts of the Romería is the Pereilas river, where pilgrims and their animals rest and water the river. It was once tradition for anyone making their first pilgrimage to be baptised in this river, as it was believed that they would then be blessed by the Virgin Mary.
Singing and dancing
The pilgrims dress in traditional attire. Sing and dance to sevillanas and light flamenco music as the procession moves through the countryside. Yet the festivities only really get underway once everyone has arrived at the small white hermitage among the olive and orange groves. At first, everyone will pass through the chapel in a steady stream to show their devotion to the iconic statue. Once the religious duties are fulfilled, it is time for the big celebration. This celebration continues into the wee hours of the morning. Only interrupted for Mass in honor of the Virgin Mary. The holy image is then hoisted on the shoulders of pilgrims, who then embark on a silent procession.
A unique experience
It is very special to experience this Romería once. You can find various photos and videos on the internet to get an impression. But experiencing it yourself is of a completely different order. There is something special about it, whether you are religious or not. The advantage is that you can easily and quickly attend the Romería from Finca La Toronja.