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Celebrating Santa Faz… well, one way to do it, at least.

Today is a day off from school due to the celebration of the Holy Face. Many people make a pilgrimage to the monastery just outside of Alicante that has one of several “authentic” Veronicas – an image of the face of Jesus left imprinted on a veil that a woman (Veronica) used to wipe his face on his way to be crucified. Everybody starts in the main square of Alicante at 8am to get their bamboo canes topped with a sprig of romero, and the crowd walks en masse for several hours to the monastery. Optional accessories include a shopping cart which you steal from the grocery store to fill with food and booze and perhaps your drunk friends, after a certain point.

I overslept and missed my chance to walk with friends from work, but later in the day I did have a picnic lunch with a friend at Playa San Juan, the large beach nearby which is the pilgrims final destination after Santa Faz (or, for some, the only destination). Lots of sun, sea, and drunk teenagers with their shopping carts full of booze – and sometimes their bamboo staff topped with romero, leftover from the pilgrimage.

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