A small rock in the Atlantic

All about the island of La Palma, in the Canaries.

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Tuesday, 5 January 2010

The Kings are Coming to La Palma!

Gaspar visiting Santa Cruz de la PalmaGaspar visiting Santa Cruz de la Palma

Although Father Christmas does visit Spanish children, he's a new arrival. Traditionally the presents arrive on the morning of January 6th, when the three kings visit baby Jesus. This is why the sales haven't really started yet - Christmas isn't over here. And on the evening of the 5th, they ride in procession through most of the major towns and villages in Spain. In previous years we've usually gone to see the procession in Santa Cruz. They start at the south end of town and meet up at the Plaza España, where they find they're all following the same star and agree to travel together. When they get to the Alemeda, they find King Herod's court. Of course, he wants to know what they're doing in his country, and then makes them promise to tell him where the child is. They travel up the baranco from the concrete ship, and find Mary, Joseph and Jesus in a cave, and leave their presents. Then finally, an angel tells them not to even think about telling Herod where to find Jesus.

At that point they light the bonfires in the (hopefully dry) river bed and set off the fireworks.

There's a list of processions on La Palma at the end of the post. I'm surprised here's no mention of the one in Santo Domingo de Garafía, which is supposed to be particularly good. Traditionally it starts at 10pm, and there's a long drive back for me, which is why I've never seen it.

The shops will stay open at least until midnight for people who've left buying presents until the last minute. Tuesday is a public holiday, and the sales start on Wednesday - if you've got any money left by then.

Gran Cabalgata de Reyes (The procession of the Three Wise Men)
  • Santa Cruz de la Palma: at 19.00. Itinerary: Plaza de la Constitución, Calle O'Daly, Pérez de Brito, Doctor Pérez Camacho and Avenida de las Nieves up to las Cuevas de Carías.
  • Villa de Mazo: at 18.30. From Monumento de la Paz up to la Plaza.
  • Puntagorda: at 18.00. From Telecentro cultural del Roque
  • Tazacorte: at 19.00.
  • Los Llanos de Aridane: at 18.00. Itinerary: Avda.Enrique Mederos up to Plaza de España
  • Breña Baja:at 17.00 at Los Cancajos. Itinerary: From the "Las Olas" apartments up to the tourist information office
  • San Andrés y Sauces: at 19.30 at Plaza de Monserrat
Sorry this post is a bit late. I've got flu and our internet connection wasn't working earlier. I just hope thier majesties know that I've been a good girl, because bad children traditionally get coal.
Baltazar visiting Santa Cruz de la PalmaBaltazar visiting Santa Cruz de la Palma

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