The first weekend in September is marked on the calendars of Vera´s people. Tradition dictates that they join a pilgrimage to honor the Virgen de las Huertas (Virgin of the orchards). The shrine is a simple building of local architectural tradition dating back to the sixteenth century.
Given that the patron saint of Vera is the Virgen de las Angustias (Virgin of Sorrows), this is not a major celebration. However, devotion brings neighbors to the shrine located on the outskirts of the town year after year. The pilgrimage is held to pay homage to the people of Lorca who assisted Vera´s population when the town was besieged by the Moorish king Aben Humeya in 1569.
In fact, the city of Lorca did not have to intervene. The Moorish king turned back when he heard relief was on its way shortly after the attack on Vera’s walls had already begun. Thus began the memory and gratitude towards the patron of Lorca.
The celebration is marked by parades of horse drawn carriages that are colourfully decorated flowers and it wouldn’t be Spain without some loud music and dancing. The parade passes the local roads and reaches it’s destination at the Heritage. There the party will continue with Flamenco dancing music and fireworks until late in the night.
On Sunday it will all start again and will include a large Paella and a Children’s Piñatas Contest. There are some links and a google translation of the programme below. Sounds like fun!
ROMERIA VIRGEN DE LAS HUERTAS 2017 PROGRAM OF ACTIVITIES
17:00 h. Begin the journey from La Legua through the usual roads, with all those floats and horses that want to accompany to the hermitage to snack.
9:30 p.m. Performance of the Flamenco Dance Academy “Las Chibancas”
10:30 p.m. Fiesta with the performance of “Ensía de Almería”
00:00 h. Great Musical Piro Show.
11:30 a.m. “Pilgrimage of the Virgin of the Huertas” from its hermitage to make the habitual route.
We want to encourage everyone to participate in our Pilgrimage, dressing in the typical costumes, as well as decorating floats and vehicles without missing horses and riders to give a great color and splendor.
The Queens and Ladies of Honor for children and youth 2016 paraded in a chariot adorned for the occasion, accompanying our Virgin of the Huertas.
2:00 p.m. Arrival of the Romería to the Hermitage and we will be able to taste a paella.
5:30 p.m. Awarding of prizes of the Children’s Piñatas Contest, we encourage all the children to present their original piñata.
6:45 p.m. Performance of the flamenco group “Virgen de las Huertas”
7:30 p.m. Holy Mass officiated by our parish priest D. Carlos Fortes García, accompanied by the Choir of the Fraternity of Our Lady of Rocio de Garrucha.
Then, as is traditional, the Raffle will be held in honor of Our Lady of the Huertas several prizes that will be displayed at the entrance of the hermitage.
To end the party we will have the live music performance of “El Bartolico”
A map of the location, click at the top right to enlarge.