Bajada de las Hayas (Descent of the Beech) in La Guancha

In recent years, the Bajada de las Hayas has become a popular attraction in the municipality of La Guancha, where on the second Saturday in August, (this year it is 10th) hundreds of people honour their patron saint, Our Lady of Hope.

This event began as a religious procession when people and their animals, mainly mules and oxen went into the hills to collect beech branches. Today the townsfolk, carrying rods bedecked with paper flowers and beech branches and wearing traditional dress accompany the animals and their drivers as they wend their way down from the nearby hillside until they reach the town.   It starts around 3.00pm with the folk groups leading the way from an area known as Casa de la Pradera, which is in the hills.  For those who can´t make the journey on foot a free shuttle services tours the area.

The locals warmly welcome this band of pilgrims and invite them to share food and wine as they passed on their way to the Church Square.  Amid singing traditional songs, dancing, food, drink and local delicacies, the parade bringing another day of tradition and local colour and joy to the island of Tenerife.

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