Events 

The Empalaos

Valverde de la Vera hosts this ancestral ritual which has been declared a Festivity of Tourist Interest in Extremadura.

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  2. Los Empalaos

Silent procession and faith


Location and Contact:

Valverde de la Vera , Cáceres (Extremadura)
  • Valverde de la Vera hosts this ancestral ritual which has been declared a Festivity of Tourist Interest in Extremadura.

    The Empalaos of Valverde de la Vera is a religious ritual the origin of which goes back to the 16th century, when the Brotherhood of Nuestro Señor Jesucristo was already carrying out these acts of penance, then called the Brothers of Discipline, but who with the passing of time became known as the “Empalaos”.

    A pledge or "manda" made before God represents the start of a via crucis around the streets of the town, in which all penitents are anonymous. The penitent or "empalao" walks barefoot, carrying the plough beam on his shoulders, which is tied to him by means of a rope of esparto grass around his breast and bare arms. Waist down he is covered by a petticoat-like garment and a pair of bars hang from halfway up his arms that contain three rings each and a toga, a symbol of Christ Crucified. A white veil, held by a crown of thorns covers his face, while two crossed swords stick out above his head.

    The attire of a religious and ancestral rite that is conducted in the most absolute silence. Indeed, the loneliness of the "empalao" is only punctuated by the accompanying Cyrenean figure who, hidden under a blanket, lights the way forward with a small lamp.
    The highlight of the procession comes when two "empalos" cross each other's path, a meeting that sees them kneel down in a sign of mutual respect.

  • Type:
  • Tourist Interest in Extremadura
  • Event subject:
  • Religion
  • Popular traditions
  • Start date:
    24/03/2016
    End date:
    24/03/2016

    Theme:

    • Events

    Target audience:

    • Families
    • Young people
    • Single people
    • Senior citizens
    • Children
    • Couples
    • Single people

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