Canary Day

May 30, 2019

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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Fiesta de la Cruz

Detail of a cross decorated with jewellry for Fiesta de La Cruz, Breña Baja
May 1, 2019

Fiesta de La Cruz is a major festival in Santa Cruz de La Palma, Breña Alta, and Breña Baja. On the night of May 2nd (Monday), practically all the roadside crosses in Santa Cruz, Breña Baja and Breña Alta will be decorated, most of them gorgeously. The people who worked on them sit close all night, usually making a party of it and setting off lots of fire-crackers. This is…

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Wig Fiesta 2017

February 28, 2019

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 16, 2019
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New Year Celebrations: Australian and Spanish

December 31, 2018

New year is a big thing in Spain. In the last few years, many town halls have put on events for  “Australian New Year” which means they start at midday so little kids can enjoy them. The poster above is for the one at Los Alamos in Breña Alta (take the main road north out of San Pedro for a few hundred metres.) The writing in the bottom left is pretty…

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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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