Nava del Rey
Bajada y Subida de Nuestra Señora de la Concepción: Procession of the Virgin of “Los Pegotes”
Procession of the Virgin of “Los Pegotes”
Nava del Rey is a village in Valladolid which every year holds a solemn procession on 30 November to bring an image of the Virgin down from its shrine on the hill Pico Zarcero, and another to take it back up on 8 December.
The first references to Nuestra Señora de la Concepción date from the 16th century, when a shrine with that name was built. In 1745 it was agreed that this ritual of taking the Virgin down and up the hill should become a tradition. Shortly before the first procession, a storm obliged the faithful to light bonfires and carry “pegotes” or flaming torches to light the way, and this became part of the tradition, giving rise to the name of the Virgin of “los Pegotes”. The Virgin descends in the night in a horse-drawn carriage driven by mule herders, who are given punch and fortified wine by the villagers to stave off the cold, accompanied by the cheers of the bystanders. For the journey back up the hill on 8 December, the villagers gather around bonfires, the figure of the Virgin is draped with mantles and jewellery, and when it arrives at the shrine it is placed on the main altar. The festival ends with a feast of traditional dishes and roast chestnuts.
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