The Sardine’s Funeral in Santa Cruz de La Palma

Santa Cruz de La Palma’s funeral for the sardine is a comparatively quiet affair (note “comparatively” – I think more people went to the costume dance on Saturday). It was still fun.

The procession started with two of the sardine’s widows (posh-looking transvestites) followed by the Batuka (serious percussion) and jugglers, a fire eaters and a man on stilts. Next came the sardine itself, hand-carried by about ten men in costume, which I liked much better than having it on the back of a lorry. Behind that came most of the mourners.

Fire-breather and stilt-walker, the sardine's funeral, Santa Cruz de La Palma, 2012
Fire-breather and stilt-walker at the sardine's funeral.

When the procession reached the sea-front, the organisers pushed the crowd back, set light to the sardine, and lit the fireworks. Lots of fireworks!

Fireworks as the sardine is cremated, Santa Cruz de La Palma
Fireworks as the sardine is cremated in the sea front at Santa Cruz de La Palma

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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