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Verdún Virgin Festival

Following the initiative of Minas’ priest José De Luca, and coinciding with the date when the “33 Orientales” landed during their liberation campaign, at the place where Juan Antonio Lavalleja was born, a statue in honour of the Virgin Mary was unveiled in 1901. Mass is said three times during the day and worshipers ask for wishes to be granted and fulfil promises made to the Virgin while they present their offerings and pray to the Virgin to show their devotion. This practice has increased in the recent years. A six-coach train full of worshipers leaves from Montevideo to the ‘Cerro del Verdún’ (Verdún Hill), to visit the Virgin. At the foot of the hill there is a market where all kinds of items can be found, from prayer or saint cards and rosaries to ‘tortas fritas’ (traditional fried dough) and eucalyptus sticks used as walking sticks to aid the pilgrims on the three hundred and seventy metres way up the hill to the statue of the Virgin.

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Traditional festival