The Baptism of the Baby Jesus
The Bautizo del Niño Jesús (The
Baptism of the Baby Jesus) is one of the most popular festivals
of the Palencian capital, and has been declared of touristic interest
in Castilla y León. Every year on the first day of January
more than 2,000 people assemble in the Church of San Miguel to
sing a traditional Palencian carol to the baby Jesus.
The origin of this ceremony dates back to the 16th century, when the Cofradía del Dulce Nombre de Jesús (Fraternity of the Sweet Name of Jesus) was formed. The fraternity has Italian origins, and on this day it celebrates the Circumcision. Today, during the ceremony the baby is rocked to the sound of the carol, then taken out in procession.
At the end of the procession, the faithful followers approach the house opposite the church and the ceremony is closed with the traditional throwing of sweets and coins by the godmothers.
Source: Web server of Instituto de Turismo de España, TURESPAÑA.