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  • ‘Villarta, its ‘Paces’ and its outbursts of faith’

    Can anyone imagine San Fermin without bulls, a celebration of Merce without castellers, the Fallas without masclets and mascletá or El Rocío without the passion of Almonte? Why imagine things that are not and will not be as time continues to demonstrate that there are unchanging traditions and devotions, still unexplained from the distance, that once known transcend the senses. Villarta de San Juan, its ‘Paces’, its peculiar and unique way to demonstrate their unconditional passion for its patron saint, the aroma and taste of gunpowder, its thunderous burst of faith ... the good work and the heat of its citizens. Everything continues surprising every year on the day of the patron saint of Villarta, Virgin of Peace. People begin to concentrate around the church of San Juan, where a Mass is celebrated. Outside, the members of the 23 clubs that will leave their soul on the streets by their patron saint, begin to gather. Blue overalls, whitess, orange, grays or yellows bind while people take positions in the church square. It is the big day of the Paces and everyone of Villarta are on the street to enjoy a holiday that is declarated of Regional Tourist Interest since sixteen years ago. The villarteros get ready to take out the Virgin, that is when about 300 members of the clubs begin to shot rockets (over 10,000 dozen in total) during a course of about four hours, more than a 500 meters until the old church, where the Virgin contemplates from the distance the "Operation 2000": the release of another 2,000 dozen of rockets announcing the return of patron saint back to San Juan. Bursts of faith for a unique event in the region.