Carnival programme for Monday and Tuesday: Santa Cruz and Los Llanos

Monday 7th March Santa Cruz de la Palma Los Indianos For most people, this is the big event. Many poor Palmerans emigrated to Cuba and Venezuela. This fiesta celebrates the ones who came home rich. Everybody dresses in white, some have suitcases full of monopoly money, and it’s a giant talc-throwing fight. You can see the timetable at 10:00 h. Waiting for the return of the emigrants in the…

March 6, 2011

Carnival on La Palma

Carnival is a big deal in La Palma. By now we’re all fed up with the (relatively) cold, wet weather and ready for some fun. Carnival is just what we need: an explosion of colour and music with a dash of lunacy before Lent. I always say people are making sure they have something really juicy to repent, but these days most people just regard it as a darn good…

March 4, 2011

Sopas de miel

Sopas de miel
February 22, 2011

This is a traditional recipe for Carnival in the Canary Islands. A literal translation would be “honey soup” but as you can see, this isn’t soup. It can be rather soggy, though. I believe in some places they use honey, but on La Palma, it’s always “miel de cana”, which is like black treacle or molasses, but a little runnier. Ingredients Molasses (one small jar) 1 tsp cinnamon anis 1…


Carnival Murgas

What are murgas when they’re at home? Well, they’re not murgas. They have to go out to do that. And they usually go out during Carnival. A murga is a large, costumed choir singing a medley of popular tunes with their own lyrics. The costumes can be quite elaborate, and run from clowns, demons, big, hairy blokes dressed as schoolgirls, Arabian princes, or fairies (usually the big, hairy blokes again.)…

February 14, 2009


Mojitos for carnival, Santa Cruz de La Palma
February 6, 2008

  Mojitos are a popular drink during Carnival: sugar, lemon juice, rum and mint. This bar is famous for them all year round, so during Carnival they prepare them in batches. This was one of the smaller batches! One of the things I like about La Palma, is that people often have a few drinks, but it’s rare to see anyone downright drunk. There’s an article about this at



The kids' carnival bus, Breña Baja, La Palma
February 2, 2008

Spain celebrates Carnival in the week before the season of Lent. I always say people are making sure they have something really juicey to repent, but these days most people just regard it as a darn good excuse for a party. It wasn’t always that way. Franco banned Carnival. It’s always been a time when people could say and do things they wouldn’t normally get away with, and perhaps he…