The tapestry in the town hall square in La Orotava is a vast carpet made with coloured earth taken from Teide National Park and recently a sketch for this year’s tapestry (see above) was presented to the mayor, Francisco Linares. The carpet is the largest work of art of this type in the world, and has since 2006 been in the Guinness Book of Records.
The Corpus Christi celebrations have become an international fiesta not only in the town but in the Canary Islands and while celebrations begin on May 13 the main events take place between May 31 and June 5 with the viewing of the carpets on 2nd June. You will find similar events in Arona and Adeje although La Orotava is the ‘biggie’ and every year thousands of residents and visitors flock to the town to be amazed by its beauty.
This year’s theme for the carpet is La Misericordia (Mercy) and it will take 20 alfombristas, sand artists, 40 days to draw and complete the work. The design for 2016 is both classic yet modern.
The classical part is represented in the central panel that depicts The Return of the Prodigal Son by the Spanish painter Bartolome Esteban Murillo. The format is of straight lines and vertical spaces with spiritual script reinforcing the importance of Mercy. There are four large flowers at each corner of the border and the usual text “Corpus Christi La Orotava 2016”.
The modern part of the carpet is on each side. On the left is the missionary sister Angélique Namaika, who has worked in the Congo since 2008 helping women and children who have been displaced by violence and war in the area. In 2013, she was the recipient of the Nansen Refugee Award for her work with Congolese refugee women.
On the right side, an anonymous scene of refugees, who have nothing and do not know where to go. Both designs are circular, the symbol for infinity and continuity. This year’s carpet is intended to convey a message to each person to be able to act to the best of their abilities and address the serious social problem in the world at this time.