Remembering the Dead on La Palma

Halloween isn’t much of a fiesta here, although it’s becoming more popular. All Saint’s Day is. Traditionally, it’s when people remember their dead. So they decorate the graves in the morning, and most cemeteries have a special mass. It’s fascinating to see, but please be sensitive. Some people may be recently bereaved and feeling fragile.

November 1, 2018
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A Traditional Sport on La Palma

  I never got to the fiesta for San Antonio del Monte in Garafia, but my friends Helen and Theresa took this video of a dragging contest some eyars ago. Basically, the oxen have to drag a heavy weight against the clock, and the fastest team wins. Obviously this tradition goes back to the days before tractors when oxen were the heaviest machinery on the island, but these days its a…

June 26, 2018
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Canary Day

May 30, 2018

Today, Wedesday, is Canary Day. It’s a big thing here, and the celebrations have started already. Yesterday most schools had a party for the second half of the morning. Most shops will be shut, except in tourist areas. Expect to see lots of traditional food like gofio and wrinkly pototes, traditional folk music and Canarian sports, like the Shepherd’s Leap.

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The Three Kings on La Palma

January 4, 2018

Gaspar visiting Santa Cruz de la Palma Although Father Christmas does visit Spanish children, he’s a new arrival. Traditionally the presents arrive on the morning of January 6th, when the three kings visit baby Jesus. This is why the sales haven’t really started yet – Christmas isn’t over here. And on the evening of the 5th, they ride in procession through most of the major towns and villages in Spain….

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Corpus Christi tomorrow

June 14, 2017

  Tomorrow is Corpus Christi in Mazo. That is, they’ll be making the archways and carpets tonight, and most people will go and see them tomorrow, but they’ll stay up until Sunday night. Also on Sunday they’ll hold a special mass in the church at 11:30 followed by a procession around the archways. The full program is here (in Spanish). If you miss this, you can see some examples from…

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San Jose Wheelbarrow Race

March 18, 2017

San Jose is Spanish for St Joseph, and St Joseph was Jeses’s earthly father, so Spanish father’s day is held on St Joseph’s day (March 17th) and the village of San José has a fiesta. On the Sunday after the 17th, they have a wheelbarrow race. Each couple gets timed as they hop in sacks to the wheelbarrows; …slalom to the first stand where they put lipstick on each other…

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