As we have already mentioned in other posts, the Pilgrimage of the Virgin de la Cabeza is one of the main events in the annual calendar of Andújar. Its roots date from the first half of the 13th century, but it was not until the beginning of the 16th century when the pilgrimage began to take place on an annual basis, on the last weekend of the month of April (except for the time of the Spanish Civil War) , becoming one of the oldest “romerías” in the country. This religious expression is undoubtedly one of the fundamental pillars of the local identity.
The Pilgrimage of the Virgin de la Cabeza, aside from being a religious event, is an emotional experience, since the fervor of the attendees becomes a colorful party, an act of joy evidenced by the songs, guitar, flamenco dance, gastronomy, horse parades, beautiful carriages, among other acts of celebration. It is precisely for this reason that it was declared a Festival of Tourist Interest by the Subsecretary of Tourism of Spain in 1965 and later as an Asset of Cultural Interest with ethnological character by the Junta de Andalucía in 2013, forming part of its intangible heritage.
The festival of the pilgrimage takes place over four days. Here is a proposal for you to experience this celebration as a true “iliturgitan”:
Day 1. Thrusday april 25, 2019
The start of the great celebration in honor of the Virgen de la Cabeza. A special act is performed, an offering of flowers in one of the main squares of the city. Here, all the residents of Andújar, the brotherhoods, peñas romeras and other attendees meet.
Day 2. Friday april 26, 2019
The Paseo de las Vistillas and Colón are filled with flamenco environment, waiting for the arrival of the Brotherhoods that come from all corners of the country to pay homage to the Virgen de la Cabeza. Canticles and dances are heard through the streets, celebrating the departure to the hill where the Sanctuary of the Virgen de la Cabeza is located.
Day 3. Saturday april 27, 2019
The day of our departure to the Sanctuary has arrived. In addition to the “Romería” environment, we will enjoy nature, as we will enter the heart of the Sierra Morena de Jaén, home to several endemic species. Most pilgrims choose to camp in this area or stay nearby. In the afternoon, we can participate in a Peña Familiar and learn more about its history and traditions.
Day 4. Sunday april 28, 2019
The great day has arrived, without a doubt the most solemn moment of the pilgrimage, the procession of the Virgen de la Cabeza. We will see how, with great fervor the image of the Virgin is taken through the village until finally returning to her shrine. With this, the pilgrimage is has come to an end.