Saint Adrian Romeria
Saint Adrian Romeria
In between spring and summer Malpica de Bergantiños welcomes one of the most popular romerias in the Costa da Morte which honours San Adrian, a festivity of Tourist Interest in Galicia. On 16th June or the Sunday closest to that date, thousands of people flock to the pilgrimage that leads us to the beautiful 16th century shrine located in the Cape of Saint Adrian. The statue of the saint comes here from the parish church of Malpica de Bergantiños on the shoulders of the romeros who cover the route on foot from the centre of the village to the white shrine of Saint Adrian where from early morning, religious services are held. This route runs along the beaches of Area Maior and Seaia, as well as pedestrian paths with the Sisargas Islands and the Atlantic as companions of pilgrimage.
On the cape, beside the hermitage, is the field of the feast. A Galician romeria takes place here with all the necessary ingredients: music band, pipers, picnic – with the first sardines of the season, offerings and votive offerings of the pilgrims and, above all, a lot of joy in a feast in which Malpica de Bergantiños receives people that come from the different points of the Galician landscape. The so-called “cockerel auction” is also held, where several cockerels donated by some devotees of Saint Adrian are auctioned off publicly and whose collection serves to help provide money for the rites in honour of the saint. Do not forget to visit the Saint Adrian fountain, with clean and, according to tradition, miraculous waters, because they have healing powers to clean the skin of warts of those pilgrims that, in addition to faith in the saint, leave a white cloth to dry in the fountain with which they rinsed their warts and wounds.
A festivity with legend
Legend says that Saint Adrián arrived at Malpica to fight against a plague of snakes which much of the county suffered from. When he reached the cape he killed the snake by stamping it with his foot which made all the snakes disappear. With low tide, on the coast at the foot of the hermitage, you can see the snake with the mark of Saint Adrian carved in stone. This mythological legend may be related to the Christianisation of pagan places of worship, the pagan beliefs materialising in a snake and personifying the power of Christianisation in the saint.
In the evening, the pilgrims start the way back to the town, accompanying the statue of the Saint to the parish church, where it will remain until the following year. Upon its arrival in Malpica, via the beach or the seafront, hundreds of people receive the pilgrims in an exciting encounter and with the hope that the good wishes submitted before the saint are met.