With the arrival of spring comes Easter, one of the most important and deep-rooted Tenerife celebrations.
Across the island, you will see expressions of faith and spirituality in the most authentic and emotive of festivities. Nowhere more so than in Adeje where on Good Friday the streets become the stage for religious fervour and devotion as the people of the town take an active role by re-enacting La Pasión de Cristo (the Passion of Christ).
Thousands of residents and tourists flock each year to see some 400 actors, all amateurs, provide special moments in an atmosphere unlike anything you have ever witnessed. The residents and council rebuild the environment of the time by combining a market with food and animals such as goats, horses, sheep and camels together with various tableaux to represent events leading to Christ’s death.
The depiction of the crucifixion is the highlight of the performance and this usually takes place in Plaza España with Roque del Conde and the Barranco del Infierno as the backdrop. After the performance, a solemn funeral procession accompanied by crowds of people carry the image of Christ to the Iglesia de Santa Ursula Márti. The event has significant media coverage as it is broadcast live throughout the Canary Islands by Spanish Television.
Religious and cultural events these days are many and varied and staying in the south of the island, Guia de Isora offers a very different approach to the traditional celebration of Easter with the Pascua Florida.
2014 will be the sixth year where the residents create beautiful and moving floral montages inspired by scenes from the Passion. These are place in the streets throughout the historic centre of town. The spectacular results are admired by thousands of residents and tourists where they provide colour to those taking part in the processions of Thursday and Good Friday. This type of display is not done anywhere else on the island, or in fact in any other part of Spain.
Moving north, Easter in La Orotava takes place in the old part of the town with many religious celebrations, each with its own personality and closely related to the history of centuries old brotherhoods that date back to the 1500s and still survive today. It is at times like this that La Orotava’s artistic heritage and sculptures of great value and historical interest are paraded through the streets to be devoutly and respectfully admired by the crowds that line the processional routes.
Easter in La Laguna is definitely a time for all believers in the Christian faith and the city is seen as the religious capital of the island. The intensity and fervour of the Good Friday procession of silence has to be witnessed to be believed! The cobbled streets in the old quarter are dimly lit by lanterns. The only sound in the darkness is the noise of shackles dragging along the ground as barefoot and hooded brothers, slowly accompanying the effigy of the dead Christ. Scary, impressive and spiritual, the highly moving atmosphere characterizes these special days of Easter on the island.