Fire, fervor and passion at Los Escobazos, ancestral feast of La Vera (Cáceres) – EFE News

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Jarandilla de la Vera (Cáceres), December 8 (EFE).- Hundreds of bonfires and brooms burned last night in the town of Cáceres de Jarandilla de la Vera in honor of the Virgin of the Immaculate , in a rite supported by fire, fervor and passion that for centuries has become the greatest cultural expression of this municipality north of Cáceres.

“Los Escobazos”, the popular name of this feast declared of regional tourist interest and which aspires to obtain a national declaration, brought together again on the eve of the feast of the Immaculate Conception thousands of visitors who, as tradition, were greeted with burning brooms and entertained with wine by the people of Jarandilla.

And it is that, when the night of December 7 arrives at dawn on the 8th, Jarandilla de la Vera is materially and spiritually on edge.

Thus, one more year and as a symbol of joy and cordiality, the “brooms” impregnated with heat the icy summer night, from sunset until after midnight and until the early morning.

In the most strategic places of the city of Cáceres, huge bonfires and brooms collected by the inhabitants of the city and placed under cover to dry a few days before the celebration of the festival were burned in the honor of the Immaculate Conception.

One of the most exciting moments of this festival was once again the neighbors’ encounter with “escobazos” in the Plaza Mayor, where, once lit, they began to beat each other on the back and legs with them, but never on the head. or with the marks, as indicated by the festive standards.

Meanwhile, many waited patiently for the arrival of the butler, who took another of the main symbols of the feast from the hands of the parish priest, the banner of the Virgen de la Concepción, which was carried in procession through the streets of the municipality. amid music, loud cheering and enveloped by hundreds of people carrying their brooms as torches.

“Fire, passion, pride and joy” are the four words with which the mayor of Jarandilla de la Vera, Fermín Encabo, sums up one of the most magical moments of the year.

The mayor defended that “although we are looking for words to define Los Escobazos, the truth is that you have to be here to see what it feels like, because for us Jarandillas it is inexplicable”.

Each jarandillano burns four or five brooms during this festival whose origins are various legends, among which the one that recalls the rule according to which the shepherds of the region once had to exchange brooms as a sign of joy and jubilant greeting, after long seasons of hard work in the Sierra de Tormantos without going to town and seeing each other.

Other versions point to the possibility that these celebrations were derived from an auto-da-fe, so common in the Verata region centuries ago, and as a customary way of thanking the Virgin of the Immaculate for her protection. , once the fall agricultural work has been completed. completed.

Moreover, the belief is preserved that the cavalries which attend the procession of the Virgin are protected against all the evils during the year to come.

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