The Bajada on La Palma

The dancing dwarves, bajada de la virgen, Santa Cruz de La Palma
The dancing dwarves, bajada de la virgen, Santa Cruz de La Palma

The island of La Palma will soon go nuts for about five weeks as we celebrate the bajada.

Bajada means “coming down” and in this case, they bring the statue of the Virgin Mary down from the lovely church at Las Nieves down to Santa Cruz. They’ve been doing this every five years since 1676, when the statue was credited with ending a terrible drought. These days the bajada involves lots of religious processions and services, but also a smorgasbord of sporting events, exhibitions and concerts and general fun.

They’ve already started some of the minor sporting events (5-a-side football, table tennis, chess etc.) and concerts, but things really start to heat up in July. On Thursday and Friday, people will be performing all sorts of things in various streets in Santa Cruz. A fleet of ships will arrive from Tenerife on Friday, and later that day they’ll officially open the new marina. At midnight a live band will perform on the stage on the sea front for everyone to dance.

Saturday has about as many things happening as Friday.

And then we really get started on Sunday!

Posted by sheila

Sheila came to La Palma with a six month contract and has stayed 24 years so far. She used to work as a software engineer at the observatory, but now she's a writer and Starlight guide.

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