PILGRIMAGE TO THE VIRGIN OF CASBAS´S HERMITAGE
It is a tradition that dates from year 1,640, when one prolonged drought knocked down fields of the region and the crop ruined. The towns of Erés, Biscarrués, Piedramorrera, Losanglis, Fontellas, Bardanés and Ayerbe decided to go in rogation to the small hermitage of the Virgin of Casbas to beg the celestial miracle to have water for their fields. Suddenly, it rained with as such copiously that harvests recovered in abundance.
These towns, in thanksgiving, made vote go on a pilgrimage every year at the beginings of June to thank for to the Virgin the given favors. It was such the fervour they felt towards the Virgin that Ayerbe, with alms of the faithfuls, raised in 1.700 a new sanctuary, to replace to the almost demolished hermitage of the century XIII which turned out insufficient to lodge to numerous the devotee ones that they went to visit it.
The day before of the pilgrimage were quite moved. All the groups of friends completed the preparations of the materials that were going to use to decorate the carriages. They used to decorate carriages after the fair.
Each gang took the place privily where they thought to adorn the carriage in which they would go on a pilgrimage to the hermitage the following morning. This kind of conspiracy about not to keep awake where and how they thought to decorate his carriage was motivated in copies in the decoration of the carriages because they would be different. The materials to adorn carriages like branches, flowers.... which had been prepared the day before for their later use were not similar to other ones used in other gang´s carriage.
The fair finished and boys and girls of each group went, separately, to the anticipated place to decorate the vehicles. First they were placed pujones to carry to facilitate the mooring of the branches that would form the arcs and tile roof of so singular vehicle. Everybody contributed at the time of decorate the vehicle. Some people did of architects, others of workers...
When the structure of the float was finished, the feminine group came to the decoration of the vehicle with flowers she had managed to obtain. The work was finished at dawn. The carriage and the calvaries were beautifully decorated.
In the morning, before initiating the march towards the hermitage, it used to give a lift by two squares of Ayerbe to simultaneously meet all and sally in a row. Each group showed its decorated vehicle aat this way. During the passage, all the friends occupied proud that better or worse decorated vehicle which was considered by them as an art work. The first mules were used to mounted by greater young calls because they were in charge to guide and to urge the string.
The arrival to the hermitage was spectacular because a pronounced slope until you reach the hermitage exists. There vehicles were parked. The skill of people who leads the cavalries was very important in that felt.
People arrived to the outskirts of the hermitage forming big groups of people in which succulent lunches were celebrated and a good wine boot among them was essential. Before to begin the mass, identity flags from the neighboring towns and a representation of their city councils arrived. The masts of them were very high. This was a form to emphasize on the rest of the towns.
After greetings and when the official retinue was already, they went up the long sloe towards the hermitage. They were preceded by the standards and the priests who would celebrate the mass. All them formed the procession. Faithfuls who participated in the procession sang the hymn to the Virgin of Casbas.
Finished the mass, the pilgrim celebration continued up to one hour outpost in the evening in which pilgrims initiated their return to house to continue the festive acts had been programmed in honor to the virgin.