Pilgrimage and Fiestas in August

There are several fiestas around the island in August; the most important is probably the one I wrote about last year the Virgen de la Candelaria, when thousands of Canarios honour the Patron Saint of the Islands.  On the serious side, paths and roads on the island become a pilgrims trail as locals whose numbers are swelled by visitors make their way to the Basilica in Candelaria.  After the religious ceremonies, an amusing piece of theatre takes place on the beach when the town residents dressed in sheep skins re-enact the first meeting between the Guanches and the Black Madonna.  This takes place on 14th and 15th August.

Prior to this on 10th, there is the Pilgrimage of La Guancha or the Descent of the Beeches when hundreds of people honour the Virgin of La Esperanza

Between 13-17 August Alcala in the South West celebrates theVirgen de Candelaria  who is also their patron- the highpoint is  a spectacular firework display which will be at around midnight on 15th.  The whole of the day is a celebration, events will start around 1pm with a flotilla of boats, one of which will be carrying a statue of the Virgin will sail in a procession between Playa San Juan and Puerto de Santiago.

Held on August 16th the Pilgrimage of San Roque in Garachico has been declared a national tourist event. Thousands of people flock to the town and port to see not only the procession, which includes bands, carts and festively bedecked goats but also the local fishermen who take part in a sea-going procession in their boats along the coast. The origin of the Pilgrimage goes back to the early seventeenth century. Between 1601 and 1606, the island was hit by a terrible plague mainly focused in the Port of Garachico. When the disease sudden disappearance it was seen as a miraculous event and attributed to the intercession of San Roque. From that date, each August 16 all roads leading to Garachico.

The unusual “Corazones de Tejina” (the Hearts of Tejina) takes place on the Sunday following the feast of San Bartolomé (24th August).  I suspect that rather than stick with the 24th the people of Tejina will choose the following Sunday 31st to squeeze in an extra weeks partying before they officially honour their patron.  Enormous hearts made out of wood and metal and decorated with flowers, ribbons, fruit and local cakes called “Tortas” are at the centre of the celebrations, which is a curious blend of pagan and religious rituals and attracts visitors from all over the island.

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On 24th is the Pilgrimage of San Agustin in Arafo.  This relatively new event started in 1975 and became so popular that in 1983 it was declared a national event of tourist interest.  It commemorates a miracle that occurred in 1751, when the saint intervened to send a storm to clear the rubble from the Añavingo spring, which had been buried by a landslide.

Add to the above open air concerts,  music festivals on the beach, and if all that isn´t enough every other year there is Realexo, which is a way to learn, how people in Los Realejos lived in the past. Over 2 days more than 250 actors will guide visitors through the streets of the town re-enacting daily life and historical events that took place

If you can´t make any of the dates in August, don´t worry, Tenerife has a busy calendar of events and a plethora of exciting festivals taking place all year round but some of the best are in the summer so if you can join the locals in the serious business of partying.

For weather & news updates around south Tenerife check Queenies Daily Snippets

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