WHERE: As Neves, Spain
WHEN: 29 July 2023
Galicia is a magical land, deeply linked to traditions. In these evocative places, faith and popular fervor have given rise to a truly incredible and unique festival of its kind, which takes place every 29 July. This is Santa Maria de Ribarteme Procession.
It is one of the most ancient pilgrimages (La romeria de los ataúdes), and incredible, which takes place in some Spanish places of Pontevedra, such as As Neves, in the church of Santa Maria de Ribarteme. It is precisely in honor of the Saint that, on this particular day, thousands of faithful and devotees gather. The processional protagonist of the procession is the funeral procession in which the coffins are with people living inside. No desire to anticipate the times… Those who parade inside the coffins, usually, are people who have had illness or suffered suffering.
Photo, 2011 Gabriel González
And, generally speaking, it is their relatives who immolate themselves and transport the coffins during the Santa Maria de Ribarteme Procession, among the crowd of curious people, flash, and photographers. The “Romería”, after leaving the church, continues along the streets of the center, accompanied by the faithful with the images of the Saint and San Benito, lots of lighted candles, songs and psalms… shivering!
And naturally, like any self-respecting celebration, at the end of the Procession, many banquets and stands will be waiting for you with good food, local gastronomic specialties and lots of wine to celebrate the triumph of life over death.
The small town of As Neves is located in the western part of the Iberian Peninsula, on the border with Portugal. The best solution to reach Pontevedra is through the airports of Vigo or Santiago de Compostela. The first one is about 30 km, while the second one is about 135. From the airports, you can easily reach As Neves by car, renting your car directly at the airport.
The function, generally, starts around the 09:00 approximately. It is therefore advisable to arrive on time, to be able to attend the whole function.
Pontevedra is the best solution to find a structure, if you want to sleep in the area. Through this link, find the best offers of hotels and apartments available in the area.
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