Some festivities become special.
Celebrations that stand out from the rest thanks to the environment in which they are taking place, the historical component they involve and the great acceptance and expectation they create among their participants.
One of these celebrations is… LOS INDIANOS OF LA PALMA!
We have begun this text in a very serious and formal way to present one of the most important events taking place in the Canary Archipelago, with great international influence, but we cannot forget…
WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE CARNIVAL!
So, things change and we start talking about dances, laughter, costumes…
The Island of La Palma transforms from ” Bonita Island ” to ” White Island ” for one day.
The streets are coloured with this immaculate colour thanks to the clothing of thousands of people who enjoy the day and the clouds of perfumed white powder that covers the atmosphere.
All this is a spectacle where you will have as much fun as ever while dancing to the rhythm of Cuban music and throwing large quantities of talcum powder into the air (and others).
You’ll end up covered in white from head to toe, but it doesn’t matter…
The occasion is worth it!
WHO ARE LOS INDIANOS OF LA PALMA?
Indianos” is the name given to the palm emigrants who returned (in the 19th century) to La Palma by boat from Cuba (from the American continent or “Las Indias”).
They brought with them the wealth and fortune accumulated during their years of work. in those distant lands.
Some even returned with African-American servants carrying large trunks and suitcases full of money and jewellery.
It was a novelty to see them arrive triumphant with their bright and elegant clothes.
They also brought with them the influence of new musical rhythms such as guaracha, son la habanera or guajira.
When a ship arrived in Puerto de Santa Cruz de la Palma, the whole city halted and came to greet their relatives and friends in a celebratory atmosphere.
Fireworks and flares were even lit in honour of the new arrivals.
Many citizens approached the dock only because of the “novelty” of seeing the people arriving and the way they flaunted their goods.
The place became a hive of people anxious to hear from their loved ones.
AND HOW DID LOS INDIANOS’S DAY COME ABOUT?
The story of ” The Festival of los Indianos en la Palma” dates back to 1920.
On that date a group of friends and illustrious people from the island decided to disguise themselves during the Carnival of that year by parodying to be Indianos who arrived years ago from Cuba.
The move was so popular that, over time, it was continued and evolved into the celebration we know today.
Considered to be one of the most significant events in La Palma and one of the most intriguing carnivals in Spain, it takes place on Carnival Monday.
In 2019, it will take place on the 4th of March.
Mark this date in the calendar!
On that day, the streets will be filled with people dressed in their best white clothes parading and dancing to Cuban music while an authentic battle with talcum powder begins to celebrate the return of los Indianos.
In addition to wearing their best jewels, the carnival performers will carry a suitcase full of money …
Everything is pure and clear fantasy, it’s part of the costume!
It’s a fun party where the typical food of the Cuban island, such as honey soups, buñuelos, cana rum, tobacco and tropical fruit, cannot be missed.
Nowadays, it is a major carnival event where the twinning between the Cuban islands and La Palma is celebrated and united thanks to the emigrants from La Palma.
Who at that time were so well received by the Cubans.
INDIANOS: THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE.
Since we don’t want you to miss any part of this wonderful day, in today’s post we will provide you with a complete:
GUIDE TO ENJOY LOS INDIANOS IN GRAND STYLE.
Take careful account of all these tips and we can guarantee you will spend… Unforgettable hours!
PARTICIPATE IN ALL THE EVENTS OF LOS INDIANOS. Don’t miss any of them!
- On Carnival Monday, between 10:30 am and 11:00 am, a white indianos tide reaches the vicinity of the Plaza de España in the city of Santa Cruz de la Palma, where thanks to its characteristic style of architecture, moves us with its colonial atmosphere to the past.
Cuban music begins to play to enliven the atmosphere and people start dancing and have a great time while “La Espera” takes place, which is usually accompanied by tastings of traditional Cuban food.
- They are expecting the Cuban Consul in La Palma and the famous “Negra Tomasa”.
This beloved character, played every year by the charismatic Victor Lorenzo Díaz Molina, better known as “Sosó”, depicts the African-American servants who arrived together with the emigrants who returned to La Palma.
Received in the Port of the capital with all their honours, La Negra Tomasa dances and waves non-stop as she makes her way to the City Hall of the Capital in the Plaza de España.
Thousands of people are eager to see her to greet and welcome her.
At approximately 12:00 noon. “La Espera” ends when the joyful and marching maid arrives at the atrium of the Town Hall.
Together with the Cuban Consul, they give the starting signal for the festival with an action accompanied by music that has a very special and commemorative moment:
A plaque with the name of Plaza de la Habana is unveiled, thus changing the name of Plaza de España for one day!
- In the afternoon, around 17:00 pm, there is a great parade of indianos dancers who do not stop throwing talcum powder into the air while they walk along the Avenida de los Indianos, the O´ Daly street and the Anselmo Pérez de Brito street.
Until they reach the Plaza de la Alameda where the open air party will continue until the early hours of the morning.
WHAT TO WEAR TO LOS INDIANOS OF LA PALMA: Get ready to show off!
Traditionally it is necessary to dress in white (or beige) in order to emulate the clothes that the emigrants brought from Cuba. But above all… You have to be very elegant!
Let’s not forget that los Indianos had made great fortunes abroad and returned dressed to the nines, literally, in their best clothes.
That’s why we find that:
- For men:
They dress up in guayaberas, white pants, jacket suits, Panamanian hats…
- For women:
Coquettish costumes, steaming skirts and shirts … accompanied by lacy umbrellas or pretty pamelas.
- The usual complements for both are usually:
Stunning jewels (imitation), antique pocket watches, bundles of counterfeit bills coming out from all sides, Havana cigars, suitcases and antique trunks (made of cardboard so that they do not weigh you down) …
We will even find cages with stuffed parrots! Because it was one of the animals that the emigrants brought home the most.
THE MOST IMPORTANT COMPLEMENT: TALCUM POWDERS. Don’t forget them!
The los Indianos festival would not be the same without their scented talcum powder.
You cannot escape the white cloud that floods the streets of the city. Not only your clothes will be light tones: your face, your arms …
Everything will end up being white!
The origin of this tradition is not clearly known, but since the 17th century, there is evidence that, at carnivals, participants were “enjarinaban” (powdered) with flour, starch and talcum powder during the carnival.
Every year, La Palma City Council distributes around 5,000 bottles of these fragrant powders free of charge, so make sure you don’t run out of yours!
Just in case, bring several boats from home so you can join the party without any problem.
Travel Tip: If you’re a bit allergic, you’d better wear glasses ( for vision or sun), bottled water and eye drops in case they get irritated and you need to rinse them.
TRANSPORTATION AND LODGING IN LOS INDIANOS IN LA PALMA.
If you want to go to los Indianos, you have to hurry up and book your stay and transportation well in advance.
Many people book all services even a year in advance. Let’s remember that La Palma is an island that, during this day, triples the population of Santa Cruz, accommodating more than 50,000 people.
With great international appeal, tourists from all over the world visit ” The Bonita Island ” with the intention of not missing this party.
This is one of the reasons why places such as hotels and lodgings as well as the airlines and shipping companies that travel to La Palma tend to be sold out very quickly.
Don’t be late and book your trip to los Indianos as soon as possible!
Fun fact: During Carnival Monday, several cruise ships arrive on the island specifically to enjoy the Palmero carnival, thus increasing the number of people attending the party by more than 5,000.
The island of La Palma is a perfect destination not only for Carnivals. Thanks to its temperate climate, it is ideal to be visited all year round.
Its rich gastronomy, its incredible landscapes, its fascinating historical past… all of this captivates the traveller in an incomparable environment as soon as they arrive.
Contact us and we will organize a wonderful vacation in La Palma … At the best price!
WE HAVE GREAT OFFERS FOR FLIGHTS, HOTELS AND EXCURSIONS WAITING FOR YOU.
In addition, we will take care of everything. This will help you save a lot of time… And money!
What are you waiting for to get to know a veritable paradise in the Atlantic Sea!
Redactora. Especialista en viajes. Marketing de contenidos.
Si tuviera que definirme diría que soy una viajera incansable amante de la escritura.
Trotamundos desde los 18 años, estos últimos 10 años he combinado mi pasión por conocer el mundo con mi profesión de agente de viajes.
En este blog, trasmitiré mis conocimientos mediante completos posts con la intención de ayudarte a preparar tus vacaciones soñadas.
Plasmaré mis vivencias mediante útiles consejos y podrás consultarme todas las dudas que te surjan.
Recuerda: Más importante que el viaje en sí, es lo que queda en el espíritu del viajero. (Miguel de la Quadra-Salcedo)
Editor. Travel specialist. Content Marketing
If I had to define myself, I would say that I am a tireless lover of writing.
Trotamundos since I was 18 years old, these last 10 years I have combined my passion to know the world with my profession as a travel agent.
In this blog, I will transmit my knowledge through complete posts with the intention of helping you prepare your dream vacation.
I will describe my experiences through useful tips and you can consult any doubts that may arise.
Remember: More important than the trip itself, is what remains in the spirit of the traveler. (Miguel de la Quadra-Salcedo)