San Jose Wheelbarrow Race

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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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Wig Fiesta 2017

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February 26, 2017

Carnival in Santa Cruz kicks off with the wig fiesta on Friday night. It’s a brilliant idea, because bought wigs start from about 2.50€, so almost anyone can afford it, and creative people can (and do) make their own. Click for a the full size version of the panorama.

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Blessing the Animals

January 17th is the fiesta of San Antonio Abad (St. Anthony the Abbot) in Fuencaliente, and at midday the priest holds a special, traditional service to bless the animals in the church square. I was curious, so a few years ago, I went. I didn’t know whether to expect pets or farm animals, but there were both. At twelve promptly, the priest came out, gave a short sermon on looking…

January 15, 2017
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The Three Kings on La Palma

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January 5, 2017

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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San Martin 2016

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November 11, 2016

While most of Europe celebrates Remembrance Day, here it’s St. Martin’s Day – San Martin. (Spain was officially neutral in both world wars, so they don’t have a Remembrance Day). San Martin is traditionally when the chestnuts are ready to pick, and the new wine from the summer’s grape harvest is ready to drink. (Although with global warming, the chestnuts have been in the shops for weeks.) So most families…

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Halloween

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October 30, 2016

Halloween is not a traditional Spanish fiesta. Ten years ago, it was something the children learned about in English classes. But you know, kids love a chance to dress up, and they especially love an opportunity for legalised begging (and I was just the same). Naturally they love the idea of Halloween, and so do the shop keepers (obviously). And slowly, Halloween is becoming more popular. Don’t be too surprised…

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