La Romería de Nosa Señora de Vilamaior

Romería means pilgrimage.  A Romería is a short distance catholic pilgrimage practiced in Spain and Portugal, its origins likely before the advent of Catholicism.  The Romerías in Galicia usually happen in the villages where locals attend mass.  After the mass, villagers carry the virgin in a procession around the church.  When the religious rituals have concluded, people of village gather for fiestas that include a celebratory meal and music and dancing.

The Romería in Vilamaior, Galicia is particularly important, and attracts thousands of pilgrims from the area to the promise of a cure from its fountain blessed with the purifying water associated with the Virgin Nosa Señora de Vilamaior.   In the image of the Virgin believers behold the infinite possibilities of curing their ills; the spring is reputed to cure warts, wounds, lumps, skin conditions among other ills.  The pilgrims hold a cloth under the holy fountain and touch their wounds with the soaked cloth and complete the ritual by hanging their cloths on the branches of the trees surrounding the fountain.  Before the pilgrims carry the Virgin Nosa Señora de Vilamaior to lead the procession around the church they attach bills to her dress for a collection of about thirty thousand euros.

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The procession around the church.
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The Virgin leading the procession.
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The mass.
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The mass.
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Soaking the cloth and taking the waters.
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Hanging the the wet cloths on the trees and bushes.

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