The pilgrimage of the Virgen de las Viñas in Tomelloso

The pilgrimage of the Virgen de las Viñas in Tomelloso
It celebrates: From 13th April to 21st April
Place: Tomelloso (Ciudad Real)
Category: Religious
Popularity: (***) 3/5
Ideal for children
Organize: Tomelloso City Council
Figure of protection: Festivity of Regional Tourist Interest
Regional DancesRegional Tourist InterestPilgrimages
Reading time: 5 minutes and a half

How the Romería de las Viñas is celebrated

The Romería de la Virgen de las Viñas of Tomelloso is a popular festival that takes place in the town of Tomelloso, in the province of Ciudad Real, the last weekend of April. The festival is celebrated in honor of the Virgen de las Viñas, the patron saint of the city.

The Romería de las Viñas is one of the most important celebrations in Tomelloso and attracts numerous visitors every year. During the festival, which mainly lasts Saturday and Sunday, a procession is held in which the image of the Virgen de las Viñas is moved from her sanctuary in Pinilla to the city, accompanied by numerous devotees. The route is approximately four kilometers long.

One of the most striking features of the Romería are the green floats, which combine the tradition of carts pulled by mules with modern tractors. The mules have their hindquarters shaved to form phrases and drawings, and their tails are braided with colored ribbons. In addition, the traditional carts are decorated with all kinds of decorations. During these days of coexistence and brotherhood, tradition dictates that the Virgin be visited accompanied by family and friends, and that a good meal be enjoyed.

On Sunday, the children are offered to the Virgin of the Vineyard and a religious theatrical performance is held. After lunch, the pilgrims take the Virgin back to Tomelloso in a procession of floats and pack animals. The festival culminates with various folk performances. The celebration takes place over two days, Saturday and Sunday.

On Saturday, the pilgrimage leaves Tomelloso and the neighbors gather at the Sanctuary to enjoy traditional games and skill contests with tractors, among other activities. At night, you can attend the Torch Procession around the temple. On Sunday, a mass is celebrated in honor of the Virgin, followed by an outdoor meal, and at five in the afternoon the return of the image in pilgrimage to Tomelloso takes place.

The procession is one of the most outstanding parts of the Romería de la Virgen de las Viñas, but it is not the only one. Numerous activities are also carried out during the day, such as traditional dances, music, typical food and drink from the area, and popular games for the little ones.

Origin and History

The Romería de la Virgen de las Viñas de Tomelloso has its roots in the ancient tradition of farmers in the area, who made an offering to the Virgin of the Vineyards every year to ask for her protection and blessing over the fields and crops.

Over time, this offering became a procession, in which the image of the Virgin was moved from her sanctuary to the city, accompanied by farmers and local residents.

Over the years, the Romería de las Viñas has become established as one of the most important festivals in Tomelloso and throughout the province of Ciudad Real. Today, the procession and the activities that accompany it attract thousands of visitors each year, making the city a meeting place for devotees, livestock farmers, farmers, and tourists.

The festival has evolved over time, but has maintained its traditional character and strong link with the popular culture and agricultural roots of the area. The Romería de la Virgen de las Viñas de Tomelloso is an example of how popular traditions can remain alive and evolve over time, becoming a living and dynamic cultural heritage.

What to see in Tomelloso

Tomelloso is a city in the province of Ciudad Real, with a rich cultural heritage and a wide range of tourist attractions. Some of the places to visit in Tomelloso are:

  • Antonio López Torres Museum: a museum dedicated to the painter Antonio López Torres, who was born in Tomelloso. Visitors can admire some of his most famous works, as well as other contemporary art pieces.
  • Plaza de España: the main square of Tomelloso, with a beautiful central garden and a fountain that is one of the symbols of the city. The square also houses the church of Our Lady of the Assumption.
  • Carriage Museum: this museum showcases the different forms of transportation that have been used throughout history in the area, from horse-drawn carriages to modern vehicles.
  • Constitution Park: a large park in the center of the city, with playgrounds for children, picnic areas, an artificial lake, and numerous walking trails.
  • Wineries: Tomelloso is known for its wine production, so a visit to one of the wineries in the area is a must, where visitors can learn about the wine-making process and taste the typical wines of the region.
  • Sanctuary of the Virgin of the Vineyards: this sanctuary is one of the most emblematic places in Tomelloso, as it houses the image of the patron saint of the city, the Virgin of the Vineyards.

Tomelloso is a city with a great cultural and tourist wealth, which combines tradition with modernity and offers a wide variety of options for all tastes.

Recommended crafts and shopping

In Tomelloso, visitors can find a great variety of artisanal and traditional products, which are ideal to take as a souvenir or gift. Some of these featured products are:

  • Ceramics: Tomelloso has a long tradition in the production of ceramics, with unique and original pieces, which can be found in different shops and workshops in the city.
  • Embroidery: the city has a long tradition in hand embroidery, which can be found in different shops and workshops in the area.
  • Wine: Tomelloso is known for its wine production, so it is a good place to buy bottles of local wine, either for personal consumption or as a gift.
  • Manchego cheese: Manchego cheese is one of the most emblematic products of the region and can be found in different shops and wineries in the area.
  • Sweets and pastries: in Tomelloso, visitors can find different bakeries and sweet shops, where they can buy typical products of the area, such as the famous tomato pastries.
  • Leather crafts: in the city, there are different leather craft workshops, where visitors can buy unique and original products, such as bags, belts, or wallets.

What to eat in Tomelloso

Tomelloso is known for its traditional cuisine, which includes typical dishes from the Manchegan region, such as pisto (vegetable stew), gazpacho manchego (a soup with game meat and vegetables), migas (fried bread crumbs), lamb, and Manchego cheese. Some of the culinary specialties that you can try in Tomelloso are:

  • Ajo arriero: a dish made with salt cod, garlic, red peppers, and olive oil, cooked in a casserole and served hot.
  • Atascaburras: a typical dish from the Manchegan region, made with boiled potatoes, salt cod, olive oil, garlic, and almonds. It is all blended together and served cold.
  • Duelos y quebrantos: a dish made with eggs, chorizo, bacon, blood sausage, and pork belly. It is served with bread and is very popular in the region.
  • Tiznao: a dish made with peppers, tomato, onion, and salt cod, cooked slowly and served cold.
  • Manchego cheese: a typical cheese from the region, made with sheep's milk. It can be found in different varieties, depending on its maturation, and is usually served with bread and local wine.
  • Wine: Tomelloso is known for its wine production, so it is essential to try some of the local wines, such as the white Airén or the reds made from the tempranillo grape variety.

The cuisine of Tomelloso is a combination of traditional and authentic flavors of the Manchegan region that will not leave anyone indifferent.

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