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For those who have dodged death and wish to count their blessings, the Fiesta de Santa Marta de Ribarteme, named after the patron saint of resurrection, offers an unlikely group therapy session.

People who have had near-death experiences celebrate their survival by climbing into coffins, which are then carried through town and to a Santa Marta shrine.

Why: The festival gives ‘survivors’ an opportunity to celebrate their second chances, making it an occasion that marks a love for life more than brooding over death.

Offerings are usually made to Santa Marta, in thanks for helping the lucky folk scrape through their scary experiences.

Do it because: Even though the festival is centred around cemeteries and coffins, it is treated as a celebration of life, with firework displays and brass bands revving up the party mood. Don’t miss the coffin parade to the cemetery after Mass.

July 26
Las Nievas, Spain


Photo: Getty Images

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Travel diary: Festival of Near-Death Experience in Las Nievas, Spain
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