10th Anniversary of the Starlight Declaration

April 14, 2017

Next week will be the 10th anniversary of the Starlight Declaration. Among other things, it says, An unpolluted night sky that allows the enjoyment and contemplation of the firmament should be considered an inalienable right of humankind equivalent to all other environmental, social, and cultural rights, due to its impact on the development of all peoples and on the conservation of biodiversity. Since the declaration was made on La Palma…

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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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Videos from the Sardine’s Funeral, 2017

March 12, 2017

Last night the town of Los Sauces officially ended carnival with a funeral for a sardine. Most places in Spain seem to do this, but the one in Los Sauces is particularly good. As you can see, they have a huge sardine. Even better, they don’t carry her sedately on the back of a lorry. The pall bearers make her dance as though she’s in a rough sea. This year…

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Sardine’s funeral in Los Sauces tonight

March 11, 2017

This is one of my favourite events of the year, even more than Los Indianos. The sardine’s funeral starts at 9:30 pm, and the actual cremation will probably be around 11 pm. I must go and get ready. I’m going as a punk butterfly this year and I need to get some piercings in my wings.

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The Convent of the Holy Trinity in Breña Alta

March 9, 2017

The Cistercian convent of the Holy Trinity at Buenavista in Breña Alta is surprisingly new. It was founded in 1946, and it’s the only closed order on the island. I was surprised to find out that there are only ten nuns who live there. The convent has a small shop. I first went there about ten years ago, in search of a rosary made of dragon-tree seeds, for a Catholic…

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Los Llanos Day Carnival

Make up retouch
March 5, 2017

One of my favourite things about carnival is the costumes. It’s like street theatre – performance art by almost everybody for everybody. Some costumes are off the peg, with or without personal touches. Others are home made. Often a group of friends or family will be themed, like these pirates: Some costumes are quite elaborate. Others are sheer creative genius, like the Canarian Unsynchronised Swimming Team, who brought along their…

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