Romería in La Orotava

It is almost June, the year is flying by, and once again, here on Tenerife the local folk will dress up in their finest costumes on 5th June to celebrate in La Orotava. Known as La Romería de San Isidro Labrador the festivities were first introduced in 1799 although in its present form it can be traced back to 1846 and like so many traditions of this kind, its origins are religious.

Originally, farmers simply carried an effigy of the saint down the cobbled streets to the church of San Agustín. The priest would bless the cattle before they returned in happy procession, socialising and having fun.

If this is your first experience of a real Tenerife fiesta then you should expect to be charmed by the generosity of the inhabitants who share local produce of wine, cheese, eggs and other goodies with friends and strangers alike.

View the procession of beautifully adorned carts pulled by massive oxen as they sway along the streets led by strong men in black fedora hats, white shirts, woollen breeches, and scarlet cummerbunds.

Image – Patricia Rodríguez

And enjoy much dancing by ladies in their traditional costumes of scarlet waistcoats, gipsy blouses and striped skirts over exquisite petticoats.  There is also plenty of singing to old fashioned guitars and percussion instruments, and amongst this sea of colour and sound, there is quite a lot of wine drinking.

06-Alice San Miguel Romeria5

The romería today is a spectacle of colour and merriment and if anything, is more popular than ever. It is, an occasion for everyone to share, to have tremendous fun and to lose themselves in the charms of a good old fashioned festive tradition.

Thank God for tradition!

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