All sorts of things will be happening in the streets of Santa Cruz de la Palma on Saturday, (street theatre, music, batukada, which is serious percussion, and the new marina’s open to the public). At 8 pm there’s a folk music festival at the central stage (the one in the port car park). At midnight, there’s a public dance on the sea-front, and another concert at the Alemeda square (near the concrete ship).
Things start to warm up on Sunday, which is the start of the Semana Chica – Little Week (the following week is the Big Week, when the really important events happen).
Sunday morning starts with marching bands paying in the street at 6 am. (And the music and dancing the night before probably went on until at least 2 am. Are they sure this is a good idea?)
So some reason which escapes me, the Virgin of Las Nieves has her own flag. (OK, so this is a lot less weird than blessing nuclear warheads.) On Sunday at 10:45 this flag will be taken from the Casa Consistoriales to the church at El Salvador, for a special mass at 11 am, and then carried in procession up to the castle just above the town. It should arrive at about 1 pm, and that’s the official start of the bajada.
The main event on Sunday is the procession to take the Virgin Mary’s throne down from the church at Las Nieves to the Alemeda square. This starts with a special mass at 4 pm, but the procession afterwards isn’t all that religious. It’s more of a mile-long party, and some people will stagger into Santa Cruz, and not just from tiredness.