San Martin

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…

November 7, 2014
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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, 2014
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Halloween

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 to…

October 31, 2014
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The Sacred Heart fiesta in El Paso

It’s El Paso’s main fiesta, The Sacred Heart (El Corazon Sagrado). Like Mazo and San José, they make archways and carpets, but they’re slightly different. In San José, they dye the salt, and then put the colours together to make the picture. In El Paso, they start by putting down white salt –kilos and kilos of it from the salt pans in the southern tip of the island. They carefully…

June 28, 2014
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Fiesta de la Cruz

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, 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 partly…

May 2, 2014
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Carnival programmes 2014

Santa Cruz de La Palma‘s programme is here. (The actual programme starts on page 7) Los Llanos‘s programme is here The programme for Los Sauces is here I’ve just found out that some places (El Paso, Garafía, Tijarafe, Fuencaliente and Puntallana) held their carnival early, presumably so as not to compete with the bigger places. Barlovento‘s is here. Breña Alta had their parade yesterday Breña Baja will have parrandas in…

February 28, 2014
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