La Folía celebration

La Folía, a big party, pious, traditional and .... tourist

Quoted by Cervantes and Lope de Vega, the feast day of La Folia, declared of Regional Tourist Interest, focuses each year thousands of people, locals and visitors, who meet tradition to accompany the Virgen de la Barquera on his tour by land and sea at a party commemorating the appearance and discovery of the image of the Virgin by the inhabitants of San Vicente de la Barquera, fishing village in which it develops, and its most popular and important religious manifestation.

The appearance of the Virgin

La Folia party is celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter in which the high tide in the afternoon match, as it provides greater freedom of maneuver vessels during the Maritime Procession, the main act.

The first documents the existence of the Virgen de la Barquera and its Sanctuary dating back more than 600 years ago, although it appears, not documented references that its history is even older. Has deep roots among the seafaring people and fishermen of San Vicente, who dressed in uniforms of sailors accompany their patron in the procession and are the protagonists of La Folia de San Vicente de la Barquera.

Says the popular tradition that, by the time of the Saracen invasion, a Tuesday of Easter, the residents of San Vicente de la Barquera, viewed as approaching its shores a boat without a crew, no oars, no sails, no rudder, wrapped glares and guided by the image of the Virgin. All were impressed and waited reached the shore where he finished beaching next to a small cave. She was led in procession to the parish, where they placed the picture in the chapel of San Vicente. In the place where he had arrived he built a shrine, using as the altar rock that had stopped the boat and the boat in the vault. It is the present Sanctuary de la Barquera where the image lives. 

Development acts

On Friday and Saturday preceding the day of the party and the festive air is breathed in the locality where various activities are carried out: throwing events on the sand of the beach, circus children's shows, flea market, fireworks, pilgrimage and verbena.

"San Vicente de la Barquera.
If I miss making my way,
I look in your Folía. "
Gerardo Diego

Sunday is the big day of the festival. That day none of the vessels of the Cabildo out to sea, and other strangers are guests to the famous day; all look ornaments wreaths and banners. Yesteryear, the newest, assumed had the best painting and was the most looked, was chosen to lead the Virgin, but at present, and with the limited existing fleet rotate boats each year among those available.

On Sunday morning Mass takes place, presiding over his litter is the image of the Virgin, and at his feet the young men and women with blouses sailors occupying a privileged place to be they who must lead her afternoon and they who dedicate beautiful verses sung.

In the afternoon the ringing of bells reports the start of the procession, with the carriage of the Virgin on the shoulders of the sailors and honored with songs and Picayos to the sound of tambourines, from the parish church, in the middle of the town, to old pier, accompanied by religious and civil authorities.  In the course of the image of the Virgin through the steep streets of San Vicente, many faithful join the procession, while Picayos take turns in groups of twelve to carry the 600 kilos of weight of the litter in which it takes the patron.

Upon reaching the main avenue, the bustle of people and the sounds of sirens and engines nearby vessels give way miraculously, a rhythmic sound of tambourines and a group of kneeling picayas adore her with an emotional song .

picayas worshiping the virgin

Once you get to the pontoons of the dock, the boat procession begins with the careful loading of the Virgin in the designated fishing vessel, adorned with flowers and brightly colors flags, while the rest of the public trying to get a place on other ships. the promenade with that barquereños remember , year after year, the arrival of the Virgin and the sailors claim their protection thus begins

It is a beautiful show to see the river full of decorated boats. Dozens of boats, in an emotional moment, blend the sound of their horns with sailors chants and cheers, the fireworks and the applause of hundreds of people crowd the decks and that continue to pay tribute to the Virgin . Boats leave from the mouth of the estuary drawing a wide turn ending back at the fishing pier.

The last section is on foot, with the sun near the horizon, to the sanctuary of La Barquera, where it will remain until next year. Religious ceremonies end with the song of a salve Marinera, giving way, as in all traditional and popular festival, the pilgrimage and verbena scheduled in acting groups folk and contemporary music, and with ending the party.

No doubt the feast of La Folia is the perfect excuse for all the attractions that San Vicente de la Barquera offers us an outstanding monumental heritage, exceptional natural environment, a renowned cuisine and a deep-rooted popular tradition. And it's a good opportunity to taste the fish or seafood at the many restaurants and taverns of the village. We could point out any, but because of the varied and excellent offer, it is best that everyone be guided by your own instincts.



  • Anticipate where you go to eat, there are many places, but also many people.
  • Traffic and parking will be complicated, time travel with unhurried.
  • If you go to sea, Heed listen messages, in more than one occasion, even have cast off because the passage ignores orders.
  • They are boats and excess load is very dangerous, if they say no, please do not embark.
  • When the ships leave the shelter of the estuary, the surf causes many movements, must be prevented.
  • If you are prone to seasickness better not even try.
  • Is a party, be considerate beliefs and enjoy it!


Live the Barquera's Virgin!

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