The Day of Our Lady of Africa (Día de Nuestra Señora de África or Fiestas Patronales) is a period of celebration for Christians in the Spanish city of Ceuta, Spain. Our Lady of Africa is a regional public holiday in the Spanish autonomous city of Ceuta on August 5th every year. Likewise referred to as Patron’s Day, this holiday praises the patron saint of Ceuta, the Virgin Mary.
The Day of Our Lady of Africa: History and Significance
Ceuta is a Spanish enclave situated on the north coast of Africa encompassed by the Kingdom of Morocco.
Despite the fact that Assumption Day, a significant holiday that is identified with Mary happens on August 15th, the date picked to mark her Patronage of Ceuta is August 5th, the date when the Church of Santa María de África was sanctified in 1752.
Ceuta’s relationship with Our Lady of Africa goes back to 1421, when having been vanquished by Portugal six year earlier, Henry the Navigator sent an image of Our Lady of Africa to the city. The image was used to guide the structure of the first Church of Santa María de África.
The current Church of Santa María de África goes back to 1676, by which time Ceuta had been surrendered to the Spanish, however it isn’t known whether this was based on the location of the medieval church or in a better place.
The church is of Baroque style and experienced a renovation during the first half of the 18th century bringing about its present appearance.
The annual fair in Ceuta starts toward the finish of July and goes on until August 5. Numerous individuals visit the fair, particularly on August 4 and 5. Numerous Christians go to the Plaza de África in Ceuta on August 4. They lay flowers before the statue of the Our Lady of Africa or outside the church that houses this statue.
On August 5, a group of men known as costaleros helps the statue in a parade through the lanes of Ceuta. During the parade, individuals throw flowers from balconies onto the statue. Fireworks are embarked to check the finish of the fair and holiday.