Romería de San Antonio de Padua (The Pilgrimage of Saint Anthony of Padua) is celebrated in June, around the 13th, his saint’s day. It is one of the most important and most popular in the Sierra.
The festivities begin during the preceding weeks with the organisation of the Proclamation of the Romería by the Brotherhood of San Antonio de Padua. Enlivened by the participation of many flamenco groups, it is an event full of passion and devotion which greatly moves the audience.
The Romería or Pilgrimage begins on Friday with the removal of Saint Anthony’s Banner from the parish church El Divino Salvador to the El Calvario chapel at the other end of the town.
The following day, the Romeria procession sets off from the chapel in a pilgrimage to the chapel of the Virgen del Rosario (The Virgin of the Rosary) in the hamlet of La Corte, some 6 kilometres from Cortegana. Some go on foot and others in gaily decorated carts and lorries, all singing traditional sings and playing drums, guitars and tambourines and the Banner carried in a beautifully decorated cart drawn by two specially trained.bullocks.
After the walk, which takes most of the day, with many stops for refreshments and dancing, a weekend of enjoyment begins for all the pilgrims, who meet in tents and marquees set up in the field behind the chapel.
On Saturday night we celebrate Santo Rosario (The Holy Rosary), with a procession through the streets of the hamlet, and continued singing and dancing around the bonfires that light up the oak grove.
On Sunday, in the morning, there is a reveille procession by drummers and flautists and a mass in the chapel. In the evening, the participants return singing, accompanying the Banner by lamplight back to the parish church in Cortegana.
The last day, called “Recovery Monday” or “Hangover Day”, the pilgrims meet in the field at La Corte, to finish off the food and drink and pack up their belongings.