Quinquennial fiestas to mark the descent of the Virgin Mary
These festivities have taken place every five years since 1680, and include a number known as the Dance of the Dwarves that has been declared a Festivity of National Tourist Interest.
Every five years in July and August, Santa Cruz de la Palma celebrates the Descent of the Virgin of Las Nieves, the patron saint of the island of La Palma. On the last Sunday of June there is a pilgrimage where local residents, dressed in traditional costumes, bring the throne of the Virgin Mary down from its hilltop shrine to the church of El Salvador. This marks the beginning of the so called Semana Chica (secondary festivities), with events such as the Pandorga, a nocturnal procession through the centre of the town where children carry multi-coloured paper lanterns of different shapes, to the sound of music.
The Semana Grande (main festivities) starts the second Sunday of July, with street parades featuring carnival figures and the Minué dance. The keynote event of the fiestas, however, is the Dance of the Dwarves: in the first part, participants represent different characters as they dance and sing. In the second part, a polka strikes up and in a matter of seconds participants turn into dwarves and speed up their movements to continue dancing all night long through the streets of the town.
Santa Cruz de la Palma (La Palma. Canary Islands)
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- This fiesta is usually celebrated every five years in July and August. Next edition: 2020.
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