La Subida


La Subida means the “going up”, and on Wednesday the statue of the Virgen of Las Nieves will go back up to her own church, marking the official end of the Bajada.

There are two special masses in the church of El Salvador, at 6 am and 7 am. The procession will start at 8 am, but it moves pretty slowly.

As the statue leaves town, the cannons at the Castillo de la Virgen (the one above the ship) will fire a 21 gun salute. At 09.15 am the mayor will say goodbye officially to the statue in front of the Cave of the Virgen (where tradition says the statue was stored during the conquest)

The procession will continue up the Las Nieves ravine acompanied by the civil authorities and the bishop and the town band. At 10 am there will be an open air theatre performance of “The Allegory of the Conquest of this Island of La Palma” written in 1925 by José Felipe Hidalgo at the Cueva de El Roque. And at 10:30 there’s a loa, a musical tribute to the Virgen, as the statue reaches the top of the ravine.

The statue’s expected to arrive at the hamlet of Las Nieves at noon (although I’m told she always arrives late) to be received by the bishop and populace, and taken into the church. She comes back out for a procession at 1:30, and when she goes back in there’ll be a special mass for the parrishes of Tijarafe, Puntagorda and Garafía. These are the most distant parrishes, so I thnk the idea is that those who have to travel farthest to get home can leave first.

There will be more special masses for the various parrishes on the island at 4 pm, 6 pm, 7 pm, 8pm and 9pm, another procession at 10 pm, and a final one at 11 pm.

I’m going to miss most of this because I have work at the observatory from 2 pm to midnight, which means I need to leave by about noon. I hope to post photos of the procession on Thursday afternoon or evening.

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