Procession of Our Lady of the Snows

La Palma's much anticipated procession of its patroness from sanctuary to town takes place only every five years

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Procession of Our Lady of the Snows

Worth the five-year wait

It's only every five years during the months of June and July, that the island's most important religious event takes place in Santa Cruz. The Bajada de la Virgen de las Nieves is a procession in which the icon of the virgin kept at the santuary church five kilometres (three miles) from city centre is paraded through the streets - a tradition dating back to 1676 - as well as related events over the course of several weeks. They include a romería (pilgrimage), allegorical carriages, the minuet, and the "dance of the dwarves". This last is especially coveted by the local faithful, who wait patiently in the streets to witness the distinctive moves of the dancers, long into the wee hours. It's also possible to enjoy the show in a purpose-built enclosure, although it comes at additional cost and is not quite as appealing.

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