Powder to the people

In the early 20th century, boatloads of people from the Canary Islands emigrated to Cuba and other parts of Latin America.

When they returned home, they came dressed in Cuban-style clothes and Panama hats, boastfully carrying suitcases of money after having made their fortunes in distant lands, or so the legend goes.

To celebrate this, thousands of revellers turn the streets of Santa Cruz de la Palma in the Canary Islands into a sea of white as they throw talcum powder over each other to celebrate "Dia de los Indianos", or the "Day of the Indians", which fell this year on Monday.

The carnival, which lasts more than one month, features orchestras that play Caribbean and Brazilian music throughout the festivities.

There are also other things to keep the revellers occupied. These include elections for the Carnival Queen, the Junior Queen and the Senior Queen, satirical street performances for adults and children, and a lot of dancing.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 10, 2016, with the headline 'Powder to the people'. Print Edition | Subscribe