Nuestra Señora De La Bien Aparecida

Nuestra Señora De La Bien Aparecida is a regional public holiday observed in the Spanish autonomous community of Cantabria annually on the 15th of September. Also known as Festividad de la Bien Aparecida, or Lady of Aparecida, this holiday honors the patron saint of Cantabria and the mother of Jesus, the Virgin Mary.

The main focus of this holiday is a statue that was found in the 17th century, which is 9 inches tall and made of wood. It is located at the sanctuary of the Virgin Bien Aparecida, situated 5 kilometers from the town of Ampuero on a hill.

The History Of Nuestra Señora De La Bien Aparecida

The main focus of this holiday is the veneration of the Virgin Mary through a statue. This statue is believed to date back to the early 17th century when it was found in a window of a San Marco hermitage. The veneration of this statue became popular during the 17th and 18th centuries, and in 1906, it officially became the patron saint of Cantabria. It was then placed in the sanctuary of the Virgin Bien Aparecida near the town of Ampuero.

Observing Nuestra Señora De La Bien Aparecida

On this holiday, solemn masses are held at churches across Cantabria. There is also a large pilgrimage to the site, as well as an outdoor mass conducted by the bishop. On the way to the sanctuary, there are 15 stations of the Way of the Cross. It is customary for people to pray at each of these stations before arriving at the sanctuary. This is a solemn holiday, but that does not mean there are no other festivities held on this day besides the religious ones.

This is also a holiday when people spend time with their friends and family members. Since it is a public holiday, it is a day off for the general population, and schools, businesses, and non-essential government offices are closed for the day. Communal meals are also held where great Cantabrian dishes are served. These include Pollo Campurriano, Cocido Lebaniego, Quesada Pasiega, and Cocido Montañés.

Where is it celebrated?
Spain (Local holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
September 15 Sunday
Next year (2025)
September 15 Monday
Last year (2023)
September 15 Friday