Every year the people of Tegueste celebrate the feast of their patron, the Virgen de los Remedios. The story goes that in the mid 16th century, many communities in Tenerife became victims of the Black Death brought to the island through the numerous trading ships that stopped off on their way to and from the new world. The people of Tegueste prayed to the Virgin, to save them from the plague and the community by some miracle was spared. As a result, every year since, to show their gratitude, the village celebrate on Our Lady of Remedies feast day, which is 8th September.
However, this story is two-fold, part of the week long celebrations includes a performance of the “Librea,” which was revised by Tegueste in 1997 and only performed once every three years.
At ‘La Librea’, the residents turn the clock back to 1850 by re-enacting a symbolic battle representing the defence of the town against the continuous attacks by pirates and of course the British that were carried out during the 17th century.
The spectacle starts around 9.00pm on 5th September and lasts for about 3 hours. During that time, the audience are treated to tableaux and short plays depicting life as it was then, by locals in Canarian dress of the 17th century. Dancing, singing, canons and huge boats, pulled by oxen are on show and the highlight is the town hall converted into a fort which is the main scene for the battle. As the local militia overcome the pirates there is an impressive sound and light show and the pageant ends with sparklers, the singing of Ave Maria and of course fireworks!
If you cannot get to the Plaza de San Marcos in Tegueste on September 5th to watch the enactment, “La Librea de Tegueste” will be broadcast live from the municipal website of www.tegueste.es so people all over the world can see the event.