The Romeria de San Antonio

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. Saturday evening saw the biannual romería from San Antonio to San José. The statue is San Antonio. It all moves along quite slowly, so you don’t get tired, even though it’s three kilometres and all uphill.

Of course some people enjoy the singing more than others.

As well as the big floats, a lot of people bring their own transport or a decorated cart for the food and wine. (Mostly wine). Some, like this one, are home-made and have a lot of character.

By the time the procession arrives in San Jose, it’s about ten pm. Sad to say, if you had that many Brits drinking for four hours, you’d have some trouble. Not here. Although every body is merry, hardly anybody is drunk, because they take it slowly.

The evening ends with a concert in the old church square – this year it was rock – followed by a dance. The music went on until 5 am.

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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