The Feast of San Roque, now known as Fiesta Grande of Tarija, It is one of the purest manifestations of popular knowledge for its tradition, religious fervor and exceptional colorful.
The party officially begins 16 August each year. Sin embargo, the population in general and the religious community of the city just live the feast on the first Sunday of September. This follows the eighth on the second Sunday of September and ends with a huge procession, a day like today, Confinement day on Tuesday.
San Roque is the most popular festival of Tarija, the saint named "Patrono San Roque" is the most revered from the colony, Who has the people and the peasantry, a mystical devotion. This tradition is kept and maintained through the years, from generation to generation.
The celebration is festooned with the participation of the "redskins", emblematic presence of more than 1500 promesantes and pilgrims, dressed in his typical and colorful costumes and rhythmic dance are, accompanied by folk musicians represented by "cañeros", "Quenilleros", "Drummers" and guide "ensigns", fulfill his promise to "San Roquito" and accompany scheduled days to "lock" the "Fiesta Grande de Tarija".
The emotional closure
This is the most shocking moment: The promesantes and pilgrims "redskins" and thousands of devotees to "San Roque" say goodbye to his San Patrono with tears and tears and expressions of deep feeling on and, he remade, with songs and praises its commitment to fulfill the promise next year.
Once "San Roque" returns to the church of the same name, we proceed to the "closure" of the Party. Santo is located at the foot of the steps and watch the people. The "redskins" develop, together with the religious community of Tarija, the most exciting event of the festival: sing praise to "San Roque" to the tune of "drummer" and "quenillero".
On the other hand, Thousands of excited people, They are located opposite the church and greet "San Roquito" with white handkerchiefs. The religious fervor of "redskin" promesante and popular artistic creativity have made the 8 September 1998 during the administration of constitutional government of Hugo Banzer Suarez, the Feast of "San Roque" has been declared "Cultural Heritage and Religious" in the city of Tarija.
Today, for its symbolism and charisma, Festival attracts over 50.000 people and awakens the nostalgia of thousands of tarijeños scattered around the world.
San Roque, the French
San Roque was born in Montpellier; France 16 August 1295 in a home of heroes of the French nobility, They were his parents; Don Juan de la Cruz and Doña Liberia; nobility descended from the Christian kings of France.
His father was a wealthy governor of the city that his son inherited his entire fortune. On the death of his parents he distributed his wealth to the poor, It took the habit and the staff of the pilgrim and traveled to Italy, in whose territory the plague ravaging its people.
San Roque was dedicated to the sick restoring health. Contracted the plague in Plasencia, village on the banks of the River Po hiding in a hut.
Gothar, member of the nobility, warning that your dog was lost carrying a daily ration of bread, followed in the footsteps of the dog and it was found that not only had food, but licking the wounds of French.
He moved the young aristocrat did cure San Roque; Once the diseased parts, He could return to his homeland; where he slandered as a spy died in a cell at the prison warder 32 years of age 27 August 1327.
During the colonial era, whose date is not known precisely; one an epidemic over (leprosy) It devastated the city of Tarija. To assuage the anguish of this implacable scourge, the inhabitants of the region, savvy cures French, They invoked the aid of San Roque.
They report that the epidemic ceased then, the neighborhood of the entire population grateful for the visible miracle that made San Roque decided to celebrate every year during the month of September as a doctor of the poor.
The image of Santo Peregrino, He is wearing a suit according to his high rank of nobility and through the main streets of the city visiting the temples and city hospitals accompanied by promesantes "Chunchos", who sing songs of praise and farewell begging his intercession before God, see you next year.
But there are also some historical data that outline of the origin of this veneration in Tarija. According to historian Edwin Rivera Miranda, Don Francisco de Toledo, who ordered the foundation of Tarija, He provided that bear the name of San Bernardo, as this Santo, Hidalgo lawyer who embodies the purity of religious fantasies.
More villagers, in the words of the judges of the Audiencia of Charcas, could not be inside these purposes must have their "holy" that would protect from attacks by wild. So have you appointed this purpose Don Francisco Chavez choosing the "patron" to be a reflection of their affections and their joys and medical ailments.
Don Francisco Chavez was the sharpest thinker of the Cabildo and the most ingenious phrase rimador. In this way, San Roque came to be the Holy of Cabildo, whose name rose to the Lord, preses to exterminate the pests and the evils of the people, at that time leprosy.
the festivities was placed in the resonantly. Indigenous Canasmoro Party brought their "Cañas", toning pain and gloomy music that touches the fibers of memories. Those of Vitoria and Erquis, They brought the "box" and "Erque", evoking clear days to live, when "Orejones" swooped to chiriguanos, and "Chunchos" and "Hell" came to adorn the festivities.
Every year the festival Cabildo, It is growing in faith, trade reef taken as the "Fair"; tonificaba Church and its propaganda; embedding in the "chapaco" worshiping God. pagan days, weeks exchange in rural life. ... After its coffers trade tonificaba. The society, it narrowed, he communicated. Dances and bulls and the old Spain.
"Years passed, and pretensions of civilization sought to erase the dreams of our ancestors ... Then, these pagan festivals, these fairs conquest, those days of bacchanal, commercial exploitation and religious desecration, They were disappearing. He pushed the century ", Rivera says.