Monday, April 22, 2013

Holguin in Romerías

Over 200 delegates from 21 countries have bought tickets to attend the 20th Romerias de Mayo to take place in the city of Holguin from 2 to 8 next month. It is expected this figure will rise in the coming hours, so it promises to record worldwide participation. 200 young artists from all provinces of Cuba will be also participating in the event. So far, the World Meeting of Poets and Chile, Mexico, Venezuela and Spain have the largest delegations to this important cultural event. What are the Romerias? According to the Spanish custom of placing a cross in the highest places near populations in order to prevent epidemics or natural disasters, the Franciscan friar Antonio de Alegría placed, in the colonial era of the island, a cross in a hill that marks Holguin's geographic north (known as Loma de la Cruz). Long after this religious event turned into a festival that includes all artistic expressions, which starts with a pilgrimage to the cross placed by Friar Antonio de Alegría. During the Romerias the people started a procession from the San Isidoro Church to La Loma de La Cruz where they officiated a Mass and at the same place they started the festivities that lasted until the next day. After this, the Catholic holiday became known until becoming a popular festival. Today, and since 1994, The Romerias de Mayo have reemerged by the wish of young people from the Saiz Brothers Association, to link the new with the old, and realize its slogan "Because there is not today without yesterday."

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