As every year, in the first fortnight of September, the festivities are celebrated in honor of the patron saint of the Island: the Virgin of Los Dolores. To understand the devotion it arouses in the inhabitants of the island and the importance of the Feast of Los Dolores for its inhabitants, we must go back to the eruptions of the eighteenth century.
During the six years that the eruptions lasted, the population had to leave their houses and their villages while they saw how they were buried under the lava. In 1735, a Franciscan missionary, called Padre Guardián who was on missions in Tinajo, called a procession to ask for the protection of the Virgin of Los Dolores, since the lava was increasingly closer to the town of Tinajo.
In procession they reached the mountain of Guiguan, where they promised the Virgin the construction of a hermitage in her honor if the lava stopped. One of the assistants went ahead as far as he could and nailed a cross very close to the lava rivers. According to the legend, the lava stopped at the foot of the cross. Everyone celebrated the miracle with joy, but they forgot the promise. Years later, the Virgin appeared to a shepherdess to tell her to remember her promise. At first they didn’tt believe the girl, until she appeared again and left her hand marked on the little girl’s back as proof. At that time they hurried to build the Hermitage of Los Dolores. And since then, every year Lanzarote and visitors from other islands come for the Romería de los Dolores, which is celebrated this year, on September 15, the same day of the festival of Los Dolores.
It is a tradition that the pilgrims get up early to walk from all points of the island. That day, the roads of all Lanzarote are filled with people dressed in the traditional attire of the island, many singing and celebrating with everyone who is on the road, until they reach the Hermitage of Mancha Blanca.
As a curious fact: in the female dress two hats are worn, the straw hat is the one worn by the married and the white and pink cloth cap is intended for girls and single women.
Apart from the religious events that take place during the festivities, the party program is full with events for everyone. The most important being the Pilgrimage and the Mancha Blanca Craft Fair that this year celebrates its thirteenth edition, and honors the luthier of timples Antonio Hernández Lemes. Menorca will be the guest region this year, which will bring a sample of the works of its artisans.
As closing of the festivities, on Sunday 16, there will be a fireworks show at the end of the concert that starts at 9:00 p.m.