The whole fiesta takes place, if you didn't guess, at a place called San Antonio in Garafia, which is between La Zarza archaeological park and Llano Negro in the north west of La Palma. If you drive to San Antonio when there is no fiesta, then you will wonder what on earth this great big flat area is with nothing there other than a church, children's playground and a range of stone-built BBQ cabins. Just wait until the fiesta when you'll be joined by approximately 2000 other people!
There are also lots of stalls offering a range of items such as Mexican blankets, cowboy hats, sunglasses, jewelry, fishing rods and also a whole section with handmade artesenia items such as jewelry made from dragon tree seeds, leather and materials.
One of the things I quite like to watch is a competition where the oxen, working in pairs, pull a weighted sled. The oxen have to complete a timed circuit with the sled and after each successful circuit, more weight is added until a winner is declared. By the time we finished watching, the weights were up to 700k - tough guys!But the basis of the fiesta has a religious significance and is to celebrate Saint Antonio. On the Saturday, the Saint is taken from the church and paraded around the grounds held high on a plinth carried at shoulder height by the devoted. This is a real honour and the hour long procession is accompanied by more than a hundred followers and brass band with the bearers being changed many times.
And Sunday ... it's time for mass.
Hope to see you at San Antonio next year! Meanwhile, here are some random photos for you.