Granada goes up to the hill. Romeria of Saint Cecilio

This post presents a description of a traditional party that takes place every year on first of February. The celebration consists of a pilgrimage to the abbey of the patron saint of the city of Granada in Sacromonte.
Granada celebrates every year, at the beginning of February, the party of its patron saint, Saint Cecilio, and because of that people go up in romeria to the abbey of Sacromonte. The liturgical festivity is on the first Sunday of February. The reason of it is the compliance of the vow that the city council made in 1598 due to the pestilence which decimated the population this year.
The romeria takes place around the abbey and the caves of Sacromonte. It is surrounded by exceptional views and landscapes and offers a desirable environment to spend a day in the land on the heights of Sacromonte.
This festivity has two different moments. The first one consists on a religious ritual, in which the city council and other institutions celebrate the vow to Saint Cecilio. There are a reception to these authorities, mass, offerings and visits to the caves.
But a big number of participants of the romeria stay external to the official act for many reasons, such as the capacity of the temple, the distance between the sanctuary and the esplanade, personal reasons…
The second part of the romeria is more popular, and it is formed by the distribution of “salaillas” (it is a cake of dough of bread covered with grains of salt cooked in the oven), broad bean, tortilla of the Sacromonte and wine, all of that is offered by the city council to the participants of the event. There are music and local and regional dances as well organized by the city council too. Many groups, especially young people, spread out through the hill and make their lunch on the land.
In the beginning of this festivity, like in the beginning of the Abbey, there are discoveries of significant importance: the appearance of the ashes of Saint Cecilio and the leaden books, as document and proof of an initial fact.
The appearance of relics and those books, written over sheets of leaden, occur in Granada at the end of the XVI century, between 1588 and 1600.
The pestilence that Andalucía suffered in 1598 and the vow of go up to Sacromonte that the city council made to Saint Cecilio in appreciation for get Granada out of it are just opportunities to make official a popular custom, caused with the appearance of the first relics and, later, the leaden books. People of Granada went up in pilgrimage to the saints caves to honour Saint Cecilio, fact that the city council use to organize a party of the whole city with the municipal corporation at the head of it.
Without any doubt it was an extraordinary opportunity to create a symbol in a city compound by inhabitants of diverse races and beliefs. The symbol was served with Saint Cecilio who was of Arabic race. Granada in the Sacromonte brought to an end a period of transition of a Moorish city to a Christian city, but assuming the Moorish tradition. This project had the support of many people of Granada of that time.
Nowadays, the romeria of Saint Cecilio seems to be a good event, it can realize seeing the appreciable number of pilgrims and curious which go to it.
So, if you are in Granada the first Sunday of February take your comfortable shoes and go to the romeria. You can enjoy with the music, food, wine and views in a really good circles.
Let’s see you in my next post. Best wishes!celebracion-san-cecilio-2016-alexcamara-23-958x538

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