The Dia de la Fuga de San Diego is a tradition in Tenerife that dates back to the early 20th Century. The custom began when Diego Ximenez de Cisneros a new teacher arrived at the Instituto Cabrera Pinto in La Laguna. He decided to stop the students from attending the Romería of San Diego del Monte and students being students (nothing changes) decided to disobeyed him and not attend class.
Traditionally the students of La Laguna used to visit the hermitage of San Diego to count the number of botones (buttons) around the statue. Some say it is impossible to count them all, but if a student correctly guesses the correct number their schoolwork would be vastly improved for the year.
13th November 1919 was the first ‘Escape’ and over the years, the tradition became accepted by the University of La Laguna, then other schools and other Canary Islands followed suit.
Today’s students have adapted the tradition and many use the day to escape from school and throw a party although it is not an official holiday.