Fiestas and Celebrations on La Palma

La Palma Kirche der Jungfrau vom Schnee nahe Santa CruzThe inhabitants of San Miguel de La Palma are known for their exuberant festivals and parties, which they celebrate on cultural or religious occasions, not only on New Year or on Christmas: be it the harvest of the wine, the blooming of the almond trees or the anniversary of the saint of a certain place or of the whole island. Almost the whole population of the island honours and celebrates its saints in splendid processions, often taking days and almost more important than Xmas, and accompanied by exuberant fiestas and festivities. Here is an overview of the most significant festivals on the island, excluding Christmas and the New Year.

Further information about regional celebrations and parties can be obtained in the tourist offices of the area. Calendar 2012 – Germany, Spain, Canaries, La Palma

Calendar of the most important Public Holidays, Fiestas and Parties on La Palma 2012


Feast

Place

Time

Info

Los Reyes Epiphany Santa Cruz 6th January after New Year and Xmas The arrival of Three Wise Men, the Magi, is celebrated in the harbour with a colourful procession.
Feast of the Almond Bloom
Puntagorda 3, - 5, February
Traditional prodigious village feast and party on the occasion of the almond bloom.
Carnival Santa Cruz, Los Llanos, etc.
17, - 24, February
Street Carnival with traditional powder-throwing and music performances.
Easter all over La Palma 6, - 8, April Splendid procession in front of all churches of the island
Feast of “Corpus Christi” Mazo etc. June
This Catholic feast is celebrated in a particularly splendid way: procession with monstrance along long, artistically patterned carpets of coloured sand and leaves of blooms.
San Antonio del Monte Fair of Agriculture
Garafia Weekend mid-June
Within the frame of an agricultural fair with cattle market visited by thousands of locals and guests, cattle, sheep, goats, donkeys and horses are blessed by St. Antonius during a procession into the church.
The Bajada de la Virgen de las Nieves Santa Cruz de La Palma July 2015
Most important feast of the island! Every five years, the picture of Maria from the Church of St. Mary of the Snow is carried to Santa Cruz, which is 5 km away, and back again. Many celebrations and parties, incl. the famous “Dance of the Dwarfs” take place during the week around this event.
The Sea Battle of Lepanto Barlovento August Every three years, in honour of the “Virgen del Rosario”, the sea battle of Lepanto is reconstructed – a symbolic fight between Moors and Christians.
The Devil's Fiesta “El Diablo” Tijarafe September A fire-spitting devil, who whirls under colours, sparks and music over the square, is only stopped by the light bringing virgin “Virgen de la Candelaria”. Video
San Miguel Tazacorte 29th September Feast of the Island patron. Palmerian dance feast with the “caballos fufos”, splendidly bedecked horse costumes from carton, moved by human beings.



Further Information on the Festivals and Parties on La Palma


carnival

February/March – Carnival on La Palma

A large percentage of inspiration, creativity and exuberance within the frame of the Carnival on the Canary Islands dates back to the influence from Latin America. The humans who returned from the former colonies into their Canarian home, transferred the mood and atmosphere of the South American fiestas, the splendid costumes and music to their home island. On La Palma, this return is commemorated on Carnival Monday, i.e. the “Arrival of the Indianos” – colonial masters all clothed in white with straw hats and cloth parrots – is reconstructred in the harbour of the home country: entrance into the harbour, welcome at the city hall, procession. Then, in the island capital Santa Cruz, all the other participants of the carnival are dressed in white, too. One custom in this context is the following: the people throw powder at each other with – in the past this was flour. On the days of the carnival, an abundance of talcum powder is sold everywhere, which everybody showers everybody with: faces, costumes, streets – everything is covered in white.

Carnival Further highlights of the eventful party lasting for several days are the election of a Carnival Queen and the “Funeral of the Sardirie”. This large object of papier maché is festively burnt after the procession, marking at the same time the end of the Carnival. This again, however, does not mean that the celebrations and parties on Ash Wednesday have already come to an end. Above all during the weekends, there are exuberant parties and festivities in the bigger towns and in the capital Santa Cruz de La Palma, and the people take part marvellously dressed at the varied processions.


September - San Miguel de La Palma Los Caballos Fufos

San Miguel de La Palma in Tazacorte - Los Caballos Fufos Tazacorte - Fiesta San Miguel de La Palma Tazacorte - Fiesta San Miguel de La Palma, Umzug

Tazacorte - Fiesta San Miguel de La Palma, auf der Avenida Tazacorte - Fiesta San Miguel de La Palma Tazacorte - Fiesta San Miguel de La Palma

On 29th September, the big festival in honour of Archangel Michael, the patron saint of the town, the harbour of Tazacorte and all the inhabitants of La Palma takes place. The church San Miguel at the current main road was constructed at the location of the first pilgrimage church of the island. Alonso Fernández de Lugo started in 1492 in Tazacorte with the conquest of the people of La Palma, and his vocation through the Archangel Michael made him the patron saint of the island. He can be found dressed as a soldier, as defender of the church, carrying the sword, in the arms of La Palma. On the 29th September 2007, in the new fountain at the town hall square of Tazacorte, the statue of St. Michael battling with the Dragon, designed by an artist, was erected. Highlight of the evening before this festivity was the dance of the Caballos Fufos, taking place each year, the dance of the hissing horses. Racks, covered with coloured paper, symbolize 20 horses, which are carried by Palmeros around their waists. These “horses” dance through the streets of the Villa de Tazacorte – lead by a giraffe and followed by a music capella. In addition to the dance, a procession and party was organized with three splendidly ornamented, in Japanese and Roman style designed gala floats, the last of which caried the annually crowned beauty queen.

Enlargements of these and further pictures on the >”San Miguel de La Palma”, the “Caballos Futos” and the gala float of the fiesta…

For the time after the celebrations and festivals, we have assembled useful tips for the everyday life on La Palma.

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