The Santo Toribio pilgrimage will distribute a total of 7,500 bags of bread and cheese this year 2023

As tradition dictates, Palencia dressed up to celebrate a new edition of the Pilgrimage of Santo Toribio. A festivity that puts the finishing touch to the popular festivities of the Barrio del Cristo and commemorates the traditional stoning of bread and cheese on the slopes of the Otero hill.

This year, 4,000 of the 7,500 bags of bread and cheese that have been distributed this year were launched

As per protocol, at the end of the Eucharist, the authorities go up to the balcony of the hermitage of Santo Toribio to begin with the launching of 4,000 of the 7,500 bags of bread and cheese that have been distributed this year. It should be noted that the 3,500 bags that are not thrown from the balcony will be sold at a symbolic price of 1.50 euros in different establishments in the area. The aim of the Asociación de Vecinos del Cristo is none other than to bring this beautiful tradition to all Palencia residents and visitors.

The festivities of the Cristo neighbourhood began on 9 April, the day on which the Cristos de la Alegría (to Sebastiana, the longest-lived neighbour of the neighbourhood) and de la Tristeza (to the banks that have left the neighbourhood without branches) were awarded. Throughout the week of festivities, residents, locals and visitors have been able to enjoy dramatised routes, competitions, torreznadas, open-air dances and children’s games.

For centuries, Palencia has celebrated this singular feast with religious overtones to commemorate the stoning of the saint in 447 for preaching against the doctrine of Priscillian. Toribio was forced to take refuge in a cave located in the same place where the chapel stands today, as a result of which, according to legend, the city suffered the overflowing of the river Carrión. A fact that was considered divine punishment.

On the occasion of this event, and as a ‘voto de villa’, the city of Palencia celebrates this rogation, in which the carving of the Saint is carried in procession from the parish church of San Ignacio y Santa Inés, located in the Barrio del Cristo del Otero.

A unique festival in Spain and the world, which in 2005 was declared of Regional Tourist Interest and this year Palencia City Council has begun the process to obtain the declaration of National Tourist Interest. A festival in which all voices unite under the same slogan: Long live Santo Toribio!

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