Nuestra Señora De La Bien Aparecida

Nuestra Señora De La Bien Aparecida is a regional public holiday that’s 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 and is 9-inches tall and made of wood. It’s located at the sanctuary of the Virgin Bien Aparecida’s located 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 go 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 Virgin Bien Aparecida near the town of Ampuero.

Observing Nuestra Señora De La Bien Aparecida

On this holiday, solemn masses take place at churches all across Cantabria. There’s also a large pilgrimage to the site, as well as an outdoor mass held by the bishop. On the way to the sanctuary are 15 stations of the Way of the Cross. It’s customary for people to pray at each of these stations before they arrive at the sanctuary. This is a solemn holiday, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other festivities that are also held on this day besides religious ones.

This is also a holiday when people spend time with their friends and family members. Since it’s a public holiday, it’s 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 Montanes.

Where is it celebrated?
Spain (Local holiday)
When is it?
This year (2023)
September 15 Friday
Next year (2024)
September 15 Sunday
Last year (2022)
September 15 Thursday