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Festivities and Pilgrimages
Home -> Festivities and Pilgrimages -> Traditional Pilgrimages

Traditional Pilgrimages

What makes Galicia unique are the traditions that still remain alive in the third millennium, they are part of popular culture and the roots of our beliefs This is a land of magic, spells, witches and miracle-working saints. In honour of all of these festivities they were called Romerías (pilgrimages).

And this is exactly what happens in this council. Each parish has its own saint or holy protector, if not several. The work in rural areas is very tough and hard are the pains and calamities that sometimes befall. To ensure luck in all sorts of ventures you must entreat doctors, healers and above all the saints. For each occasion a pilgrimage to beseech or give thanks, but also as a break there are other pilgrimages for dancing and eating. Thus,were born the religious festivities, the gastronomic fiestas and therefore over time persist the purest examples, the popular pilgrimages (Romerías).

  • Romaría do Rapaz (child)
  • Romaría de Santa Sabela
  • Romaría da Saleta
Site: Shrine of A Saleta
Location: Siador
Date: variable
Month: June
Age: 1st edition 1989
Coordinates: X: 561.962 Y: 4.725.536 H: 29

Importance: The Romaría do Rapaz (child), classified as unique in Galicia and Spain, and is organized 90% by children aged 4 to 12 years old. It is also remarkable because of the location where it takes place, in a natural setting of rare beauty, a typical "carballeira” an oak wood which surrounds the famous Shrine of A Saleta in the parish of Siador.

Ceremony: This lively festivity has workshops in the morning and afternoon, bouncy castles, adventure activities and traditional games.

At the same time as these activities at 12.30, Saletino missionaries organise a children’s Mass and between 16:00 h. and 19:00 h. there are simultaneous games of chess, coordinated by the local collective Agora.

Throughout the day, the public can enjoy other fun activities where clowns, magicians and musical performances by the Youth and Juvenile Band of Silleda come to the fore. As a finale, one of the star attractions of the festivity is the traditional parade which starts at 19.00 all the costumes are made from recycled materials by the children and parents. As with any Romería (pilgrimage), the oak woods are full of families sitting around a table cloth or at tables or on the grass, ready to partake of lunch, a snack or dinner.

This fun and yet at the same time educational activity is supported whole heartedly by the local council, parents body, Saletinos, Olaia Residents Association and other groups and institutions. Everything is made by and for children, because they are the protagonists and beneficiaries of the activities organized. The rest are merely spectators of a remarkable idea, born where fantasies and hopes are born, on the cloud of dreams of the most genuine people, children. So that everyone can attend there is a nursery and octopus stands.




Site: Escuadro Sanctuary
Location: Escuadro
Date:July 2nd and the following Sunday
Month: July
Age: very old traditional pilgrimage.
Coordinates: X: 557.386 Y: 4. 726.599 H: 29
Penadauga: lugar del mismo nombre.

Importance: The Romría de Sta. Sabela, like many pilgrimages has lost its origins in the passage of time. It has a fixed date because its appointed day, July 2nd, is the official feast day. It is a deeply religious festivity, the most profound in Galicia, which combines animism, paganism and Christianity.  The reason for such devotion lies in the healing of diseases related to the skin, sight and bones through the invocation of the Saint and the performance of certain rituals at the sacred stone, the Penadauga, which has healing powers.

Ceremony: In Escuadro everything is related. The pilgrims, who come in their thousands, with skin (psoriasis, warts, dermatitis), bone or eye diseases, have a procedure to follow. Attend a Mass in honor of the saint, walk under the statue of the Saint when it is taken out in procession and go to Penadauga to wash the damaged parts in the water that is on the rock, or rub the part that is ill. To complete the treatment program and to the extent of the pilgrim’s possibilities, they can donate an animal, or anything else, to the church to be publicly auctioned among participants in the courtyard of the shrine.

Legend: Popular legend has it, that the origin of the romería comes from when a woman went every day to wash herself in a parish next to Graba and on the way she slept on top of a rock at the site of Penadauga. One day the woman disappeared, but in her place appeared a figure carved in stone. The residents of Graba claimed the statue as theirs, buteven though they took her away, she always returned to the rock. After many arguments an agreement was reached and the statue remained in Escuadro in exchange for a bell. The stone figure in question turned out to be Sta. Sabela which is now venerated in the parish church of Escuadro, although her outline remains in the hollow of Penadauga rock.

Site: Siador Sanctuary
Location: Siador
Date: 18th and 19th
Month: September
Age: very old traditional pilgrimage. 1864.
Coordinates: X: 561.962  Y: 4.725.536  H: 29

Importance: This pilgrimage was born on June 26th, 1864 with the transfer, on the shoulders of devotees, of the statue of Our Lady of A Saleta from Santiago, funded by the Rivas family of the Pazo de Sestelo. This event commemorated the appearance of the Virgin in the village of La Salette in the French Alps on September 19th, 1846.

Ceremony: The pilgrimage of A Saleta takes place during the 18th and 19th of September, although it starts nine days before with a novena and a striking torchlight procession that has a great following. The big day is September 19th, when Masses are held throughout the day, the solemnity of the ceremony is highlighted by the participation of the Trasdeza Choir in the midday open air mass which is held in the Amphitheatre and the subsequent procession.

It is worth noting that this traditional Marian centre has always attracted many pilgrims asking for miracles and favours, which as set out in documents and donations hundreds were conceded.

From this were created all sorts of parallel activities, among which we would highlight the dinner on the 18th and the lunch on the 19th, which occurred amongst the visitors who came from many points of Galicia and slept in the vicinities. Today, the tradition continues, with this festivity acting as meeting point for all the locals of the adjoining parishes who do not let these dates pass without an obligatory visit.

Brief History of A Saleta de Siador: Since the appearance in 1846 in the Alps, the event spread throughout Europe.

The news came to the knowledge of Francisco Maria de Rivas, who founded the sanctuary in Siador. In 1863 devotion to Our Lady of A Saleta continued to grow and thus, by request of the benefactor Mr. Rivas an image was carved in wood by the sculptor Santiago Magariños who completed it in late May 1864. On June 26th, 1864 it is transferred from the Galician capital to Siador on the shoulders of devotees. Thus, canonical approval was attained and worship in the first Saletino sanctuary in Spain was born.

On April 8th, 1865, once completed the extension work in the parish church, the image is placed in the new chapel where it remained until 1926, when it was transferred to its current location.

Another historical event occurs in 1984 when the sanctuary and parish become pastorally cared for by Saletino priests from the Valladolid community, and subsequently, in 1986, when the Spiritual Centre and Trades House are inaugurated by the community of missionaries. In 2001 the “Fundación Santuario de Nuestra Señora de La Saleta” is created. Its founding president is Roberto Jose Rivas Martinéz, a descendant of the aforementionedFrancisco Maria Rivas. The purpose of the Foundation is to disseminate the work of La Saleta and give impetus to everything which affects the preservation and improvement of the shrine and its surroundings.

Contact Information:
Misioneros Nuestra Sra. de la Saleta,  Penadagra, 13
36547 Siador - Silleda
Phone and fax: 986.580.474




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Festa do Lacón Festa da Empanada Festa da Tortilla Festa da Paella Festa da Castaña Festa do Melindre (Rosquilla) Festa da Carne ó Caldeiro Romaría do Rapaz<br>Romaría da Saleta Romaría Santa Sabela