A small village in La Mancha where, every year just after Easter, you can see the Virgin Mary sprinting down a country road.
It all starts on Easter Sunday. There’s an auction in the main square in the village of San Clemente, 9km from the neighboring hamlet of Rus. Here various groups or “peñas” bid for the honor of carrying the statue of the Virgin Mary in the upcoming procession. Sums of up to 50-60,000 Euros have been known to change hands for the privilege. The auction is over in half an hour. Then a week goes by.
Early in the morning, exactly a week later the Virgin Mary (the “Virgen del Remedio”) is carried on foot, by the winners of the auction, to Rus. They run the whole 9km. Once there, she has a little dance next the “Virgen de Rus”, they change places and at 12pm on the dot the Virgin Mary of Rus is carried from her village to San Clemente…running. When they get to within about 40m of the narrow doorway of the village’s church, they stop. The music gets louder, the carriers begin to “dance” the statue and everyone waits. Then suddenly the dancing stops and the Virgin Mary statue zips through the crowd as the carriers sprint across the square and through the doorway.