Salt Carpets of Lanzarote
Every year for the weekend of Corpus Cristi families and social groups gather in the streets of Arrecife, and to make fabulous salt carpets around the main square in front of the Church of San Gines and the surrounding streets.
One of the nicest things about this fiesta is the way whole families, from young to old, work together, creating, ‘something beautiful for God’ and enjoying themselves in an atmosphere of co-operation and dedication. It is not necessary to share the religious views of the participants in order to appreciate the congenial atmosphere. There is the noise of good humour and happy activity but no raucous behaviour, no rowdiness, no litter left at the end of the night, no drunkenness despite the bottles of wine shared and enjoyed by the people as they work on their creations.
From mixing the salt, to create the colours they need, to sweeping up the excess before they leave everyone just seems to join in and work together from early evening until the job is done, even if that means continuing into the early hours of the morning.
There are further examples in other towns and villages where the salt carpets are created such as San Bartolome in the centre of the island.
Sunday morning sees the completed carpets admired by the celebrants before they attend church, as well as other visitors and a few fortunate tourists, who are lucky enough to find them. After the mass, the priest leads a procession which walks through the carpets and finishes with prayers at a temporary outdoor altar. All done, for another year.
Have a look at the video below to see some spectacular examples from a previous year.