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TOURIST INFORMATIONLOCAL FESTIVALS7 APRIL 2020

FESTIVALS OF VALLE DE LA OROTAVA

Octava del Corpus y Romería de San Isidro (La Orotava)

The patron saint festivals of La Orotava involve different traditions of the municipality and honour its customs. Religion and both local and regional tradition combine during these festivals.

Not only have the festivals in honour of Corpus Christi, San Isidro Labrador and Santa María de La Cabeza been integrated in this town, but also bear witness to a historic place.

Festivals Programme

The Corpus Christi is celebrated on Thursday; on Friday the “Baile de Magos” in La Orotava is held; on Saturday the pilgrimage carrying the image of the patron saint takes place, as well as a livestock exhibition fair; and on Sunday there is the popular pilgrimage to honour San Isidro Labrador and Santa María de La Cabeza.

El Corpus Christi

The celebration of Corpus Christi dates back to 1264 when Pope Urban IV decided to commemorate and praise the miracle of Eucharist. It is also related to the cyclical development of the seasons, to the arrival of spring when the renewal of nature occurs. 

The introduction of this festivity in the Canary Islands happened at the same time than the conquest, and from that moment on the towns of the islands started to celebrate the consecration of the bread into the Body of Christ.

This festival is held in La Orotava since the town’s origins, but started to be popular after 1847, when some members of the Monteverde family made a flower carpet for the Corpus Christi image passing by their house. 

The carpets are one of the most representative artistic expressions of this festival. Different flowers and types of volcanic sand tapestries are made for the celebration of Corpus Christi during the eighth day (“octava”). The carpets tradition dates back to 1847, when the Monteverde family made the first one.

Currently, the Asociación de Alfombristas (Association of carpet makers) is the organization in charge of the preservation and cultural promotion of the flower carpets.

Romería De San Isidro Labrador

From the second half of the 17th century onwards, La Orotava has been holding a festival to honour San Isidro. In the past, the farmers celebrated it every 15th May in the shrine of Nuestra Señora de la Piedad in the vicinity of the town, but in the 17th century it was renamed shrine of San Isidro Agrícola.  

After that moment, this festivity originally celebrated by the farmers to honour the patron saint, began to be monitored by the aristocracy and some customs faded out. Now it is held in June, and the livestock fair and the pilgrimages are the most attended events. Some of the most outstanding elements during this festival are the carriages pulled by oxen, the traditional farmer costumes (“traje de mago”) and the balconies and windows decorated with carpets and shawls.

Date: June.

 

Romería De San Isidro Labrador (Los Realejos)

Every year on the last Sunday of May, Los Realejos celebrates a pilgrimage to honour San Isidro Labrador and Santa Maria de la Cabeza. This pilgrimage has been declared to be a festival of National Tourist Interest in Spain and it hosts thousands of local people dressed up in their traditional costumes of the islands enjoying the music, dances, parades, and typical food.

After the mass in honour of San Isidro Labrador, many carriages go through the streets beautifully decorated with flowers and typical farming implements representing different neighbourhoods in the area.

The first San Isidro pilgrimage in Los Realejos dates back to 1676, when the farmers decided to give an offering to their patron saint.

Date: 25th May.

 

Fiestas de las Cruces y Fuegos del 3 de mayo (Los Realejos)

As part of the festivals of May in Tenerife, the Fiesta de las Cruces y Fuegos del 3 de mayo (Festival of Crosses and Fireworks on the 3rd May) is the most expected and popular celebration in the town of Los Realejos. It is a tradition coming from the 18th century awarding the people for their offerings to the Crosses (big crosses surrounded by offerings as an act of gratitude). There is a competition between two streets: Calle del Medio and Calle del Sol. All their neighbours get involved to show who have the best street decoration, the strongest devotion to their shrine and Cross.

After so many years, the floral offerings gained a great symbolic relevance as well as the competing for the best firework show honouring their Crosses.

Date: 3rd May.

 

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