Groups, or hermandades
As May arrives, so the season for romerias (pilgrimages) starts – the biggest of these, in quantity of people, is El Rocio. Groups, or hermandades, set off from towns and cities all over Spain, and Seville has several. I saw one making its merry way through the centre last Thursday, from the singing flamencas, with their leather bags and walking staffs topped with sprigs of rosemary, and peinetas featuring the Virgen del Rocio, to the oxen waiting patiently with their pretty gypsy wagons next to the Giralda.
All of these sights and sounds are wonderfully timeless, and no doubt will remain so for many more years to come. Romerias large and small take place up and down the country, whether it’s a gleaming silver carriage carrying the saint or Virgin image, or a simple cart adorned with palm leaves.