Every year thousands flock to the Spanish village of As Neves for the Fiesta de Santa Marta de Ribarteme. People who have narrowly escaped death are carried through the streets in open coffins to thank Santa Marta for saving them.
This “test run” in a coffin is a celebration of survival, and a fight against the fear that they will die one day. Every year thousands come to the procession in honor of Santa Marta of Ribarteme. The tradition has both Christian and pagan roots. In remote Galicia, it took a long time for Roman Catholicism to establish itself. But now every year, this is how the village of As Neves celebrates life and death.
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