According to folk tradition this celebration commemorates the Christian victory at the Battle of Clavijo and the liberation from the legendary tribute of the “hundred maidens” that the kings of Asturias and León had been paying annually to the Moslem caliphs. Records of the celebration, held on the 14th August, the day before the Assumption of Our Lady, go back to the 16th century.
Today the festivity has been moved to the Sunday before the 5th October, St Froilán’s Day, but the ceremony is as it always was: young women in Medieval dress dance to the rhythm of the sotadera, a Moorish woman whose job it was to instruct them in Moslem customs, and proceed from the square in front of the old City Hall to the Cathedral behind the members of the Corporation with mace bearers, who make an offering to the Virgin.
- Date: The Sunday before the 5th October.
- Route: From St Marcellus’ Square to the Cathedral.
- Ceremonies: At the Cathedral.