Patron Fiesta of Santo Domingo (La Rioja)
This annual fiesta is characterised by events such as 'the rounds of the Saint', typical in this area, in which the women of the town are obliged to participate.
These fiestas were declared of National Tourist Interest for their antiquity, originality and the diversity of the events that take place in memory of Santo Domingo and his works and miracles. On 10 May, the Branches are blessed outside of the temple. The day before, at 11:00, Mass is held in the hermitage of the Saint. In the afternoon the 'procession of the wheel' takes place, in memory of one the miracles performed by Santo Domingo. The wheel is then hung from the cathedral's cross vault.
Events begin on 10 April, when the names of the young girls who will carry the so-called 'bread of the Saint' are noted. The following week the 'rounds of the Saint' begin, which last until the day of the fiesta. The 'rounds' begin in the morning, and at night the town crier goes through the old part of town to celebrate the raids of the saint in search of pilgrims. During these days the faithful also go the tomb of Santo Domingo to pray. The day of the fiesta starts with the 'Saint's lunch': chickpeas with meat, bread and wine. Then pelota matches, bullfights and open-air dances are held. It all ends the Sunday following the fiesta when the 'Brotherhood of the Saint' goes on the pilgrimage to Gallinero de Rioja. Those who attend are given 'charity': bread, chorizo sausage and wine. Meanwhile, the dancers perform the 'palo', the 'árbol' and the 'arcos' (traditional dances).
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