Fiestas Lustrales de La Gomera

By | Category: Travel destinations

The Playa la Puntilla in La Gomera. people holiday for the beaches but ths year they may trave for the Lustral  festivities.

Every five years, La Gomera in the Canary Islands celebrates a two month festival called Lustral (the website is only in Spanish) and next month is when the festivities begin.

It begins on the 8th of October when people accompany the Virgin of Guadalupe in the most important religious event of the Canary Islands. But why is the patron saint of La Gomera a saint usually associated with Mexico?

The story goes that when a Spanish fleet was passing La Gomera on its way across the Atlantic Ocean, it saw a light coming from a cave. Reaching the cave they found a statue of the Virgin and took it on board a ship. But the fleet could make no progress not because of winds or storms so the fleet returned to Puntallana on La Gomera and told the locals. Since then the Virgin has been revered on the island.

On the 8th of October, the Virgin makes her maritime pilgrimage across the island accompanied by fishermen who have decorated their boats especially for the occasion. Thousands march along, showing their love through prayer and song, to the beat of chácaras and drums.

That is only the beginning. For the next two months there will be range of parties and celebrations making this one of the best times of the year for visitors to holiday on the island.

The Madonna figure is carried to every community in La Gomera in processions that take place over several weeks. It stays for a few days in every town. Each village throws a party, where locals play traditional instruments and concerts fill the streets. After touring the parishes of the island, the Virgin is returned to her shrine on 12 December. There she will stay for another five years to watch over the Gomeros.

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