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Huge Turnout Expected for Los Dolores

Friday August 26, 2011

Huge Turnout Expected for Los Dolores

The annual pilgrimage to Mancha Blanca to celebrate the Virgen de los Dolores looks set to be busier than ever in 2011, with up to 60,000 people expected in the town on 17th September.

This fiesta marks the 'miracle' of Los Dolores which occurred in 1824, when a local girl prayed for the approaching lava flow from an erupting volcano to stop before it reached the village of Mancha Blanca. When the stream of molten lava did in fact stop it was widely believed to be a miracle and so the tradition of giving thanks to Dolores began.

What makes this particular fiesta different from the many localised celebrations that occur in other parts of Lanzarote is that Conejeros from all over the island make a pilgrimage on foot to Mancha Blanca. Which is why over the course of Saturday 17th when Dolores is celebrated, visitors can see groups of local people dressed in traditional costume walking through the countryside, often pushing a shopping trolley with supplies of food and drink.

Once at Mancha Blanca, the festivities focus around taking the icon out of the church and parading it through the town. After the ceremony, the town celebrates all night with live music, dozens of food and drink stalls and on the following day with video playback of the events of Saturday and a firework display.

As a result of the high number of visitors expected in Mancha Blanca, several of the roads around the town are likely to be closed during Saturday 17th September.

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