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The Visit

When I stepped out of my front door the other day, Paquita, my neighbour came out of her house at the same moment. She carried a strange wooden object which stirred my curiosity. What’s that, I inquired, thinking she might be taking a family heirloom to her car.

It turned out that Paquita carried a house altar to the home of a neighbour further up our street. The altar represented the Sagrada Famila (Holy Family) and was a religious object pertaining to the Teatines order. The altar was shared between a total of 34 families in Felanitx, for one day at a time on a rotating basis. My neighbour had had Maria and Josep with the little Jesus for the previous day, and now it was the turn of Margalida, another friendly vecina. Apparently, a number of such Theatinesian altar boxes make the rounds in Felanitx and, who knows, in other Mallorcan villages as well. What a delightful little custom.

The photo was taken in Felanitx, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: January 29th, 2010. The time was 12:13:07.

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