One month left for the night of December 12th, eve of St. Lucia. The town of Casarabonela gets full of light due to the burning of “rondeles”. Fire takes on a very special role, illuminating the path of a procession that is rooted in the mists of time. I encourage you to go to enjoy this special custom and to go along the journey. You will love the village and its surroundings. This party and other beautiful traditions are some of the reasons why so many tourists end up buying their own villa in Casarabonela.
This centenary tradition, which more foreigners join every year, comes from the way that oil millers walked in procession, carrying their baskets of straw set on fire as an act of thanksgiving to the Divine Shepherdess for the harvest obtained. The name of this Christian martyr, is related to the lucem Latin word, meaning light, and Lucia means full of light. Since the Medieval Times she is known as the divinity of sight, either to cure eye diseases or to cure spiritual blindness.
Considered Festival of Tourist Interest in Andalusia
Around 10 pm begins the blessing of fire that ignites the baskets soaked in oil. The rondeleros start their way from the town square beside the image of the Virgin of Rondel, rising the highest part of town where there is the Church. During the trip, the rondeleros, with their baskets on fire, are accompanied by the sound of traditional instruments such as Moorish castanets. It is a unique atmosphere of lights, shadows and sounds. Nearing midnight, the whole procession ends its journey. The Virgin is introduced into the church where she will stay a few days. In the fountain behind the church, pilgrims turn off their fires and they start the festivities that will go on until the wee hours of the morning. The second Saturday after December 12th , the Virgin is returned to her hermitage. This time, the path is different and rondeles are carried by the little kids from the village. They sing carols and light the way, not only with rondeles, but with small lamps spread around the houses.