Blessing the Animals in Fuencaliente

Friday 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 went a few years ago. 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 after your animals, said a…

January 15, 2018
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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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Merry Christmas

The nativity scene at Las Nieves church, La Palma island, with a kitten sleeping in the manger
December 24, 2017

In Spain, it’s traditional to wait until midnight on Christmas Eve before you put baby Jesus into the crib. Until then the manger is empty because he hasn’t been born yet. Last year in Las Nieves church, a kitten sneaked in, tested out the manger and obviously found it very comfortable. Whether you celebrate Christmas or something else, I hope you have a wonderful time with whoever you most like…

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San Martin

November 12, 2017

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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El Borrachito Forgetero 2017

Model of a man hosing out sparks El Borrachito fiesta, Mazo, La Palma
August 18, 2017

Tomorrow (Saturday) night is the big fiesta in Lodero, Mazo El Borrachito Fogatero. Or at least it’s scheduled for about 2 am on Sunday morning. But since it involves lots and lots of fireworks and we’ve been having very hot weather, I think there’s a chance it’ll be postponed or cancelled due to the fire risk.

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The Romeria de San Antonio

July 16, 2017

A romería is a cross between a religious procession and a party. Typically, they hold a special mass and then take the statue out for several kilometres along a traditional route, followed by floats which hand out free food and wine, and lots of people, some in traditional dress, many of them singing and / or dancing. Since it’s a big event, most of them don’t happen every year, but…

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