Today marks the traditional Lanzarote festival of Nuestra Señora de los Volcanes. Unique to the island, it’s a very moving event in which many of us make the long trek by foot across the mountains to the village of Mancha Blanca.
This year of course the festivity was not able to proceed but many people selected to attend individually regardless. In our mind we remember the events of 1736 when a priest carrying the cross and a statue of Our Lady, prayed in-front of the lava-flow threatening to destroy the village.
The molten rock divided and the people and their homes were spared. Prayers were a little forgotten in the following years of peace but many years later a young girl received a holy vision reminding her and her people to remember the act of faith. So, a church was built and stands today.
It is to this church we walk on foot to remember our blessings. In all other years but this, the event becomes a great party, all of us in traditional dress, surrounded by our neighbours and family.
Today a quieter, private prayer is given. We give thanks in our own way, together.
Most of the shops and businesses on the island will be closed today in a mark of respect and we spend time with loved ones pondering how we are saved again and again from the difficulties of life and of nature in this wild landscape that we call home.
Photo H. Zell, WikiMedia