August is a month to enjoy local colourful festivities in Tenerife. The sun is hot, spirits are high, and everyone wants to celebrate. Why not experience Tenerife as you have never seen it before by visiting an amazing fiesta.
Bajada de las Hayas – second Saturday in August – La Guancha
Bajada de las Hayas or Descent of the Beech is a popular attraction, hundreds of people honour their patron saint, Our Lady of Hope. It began when people and their animals, mainly mules and oxen went into the hills to collect beech branches. Today the townsfolk bedecked with paper flowers and carrying rods decorated with beech branches and wearing traditional dress accompany the animals and their drivers as they wend their way down from the nearby hillside until they reach the town. It starts around 3.00pm with the folk groups leading the way from an area known as Casa de la Pradera, which is in the hills. Amid singing, and dancing the locals welcome this band of pilgrims and invite them to share food, drink, and local delicacies as they passed on their way to the Church Square.
The Virgin of Candelaria – 15th August – Candelaria
The night before the festivities to the Patron Saint of the islands, pilgrims follow paths and roads as they walk to the basilica to pay their respects to the virgin. There are many events but the post popular takes place on the beach next to the basilica. Residents re-enact the appearance of the virgin to the Guanche’s. As they were frightened they tried to attack her but realised this was not possible and instead they worshiped her supernatural powers.
Another event taking place is the procession of the Virgin’s statue around the town plaza. This is followed by lots of partying, concerts and attracts huge crowds to the town.
Festival of San Roque – 16th August –Garachico from mid-day.
The north of the island has plenty of religious celebrations, one of them is to honour San Roque and thank him from saving the town of Garachico from the plague. Hundreds of people in traditional dress, sing, dance, and shake rods of coloured ribbons as they follow oxen and horse-drawn carts through the streets. At the end of the festival, tradition says everyone should head to the sea and take a dip.
Realexo – Biannual next event August 2016 in Los Realejos.
This fiesta celebrates how people lived in the past. Over 2 days actors and locals in traditional costumes guide visitors around the streets of the town, which becomes a stage for historical events.
Romeria of San Agustín – last Saturday in August – Arafo
This event commemorates a miracle that occurred in 1751, when San Agustín intervened to send a storm to clear the rubble from the Añavingo spring, which had been buried by a landslide. The traditional procession leaves the Plazoleta de la Cruz at 5 p.m. and followed by folk groups, locals in costume and town dignitaries it wends its way through the streets. At the head of the procession is the figure of St. Augustine, who is taken to the church where communion is held.
Corazones de Tejina – the last Sunday in August – Tejina
Lose your Heart and soak up the fun at Tenerife´s most unusual summer fiesta. Held in honour of San Bartolomé. The programme lasts approximately 15 days and includes all kinds of cultural, sport, kids, art and folklore events.
Three village streets, “Calle de Arriba”, “Calle de Abajo” and “El Pico” compete to outdo each other with beautifully decorated hearts. Each heart based on a specific theme is decorated with cakes called ‘tortas’. It takes 25 men to carry the 800 kilos hearts on their shoulders to the church square and this is a time of great rivalry as accompanied by the continuous shouting, cheering and the sounding rockets, the parade finishes in the church square where the Hearts are offered to St Bartholomew. The parade is also accompanied by highly decorated carts all in all an amazing Festival.
Fiestas de Santa Barbara – last Sunday in August – Icod de los Vinos
This tradition emerged nearly 70 years ago to give thanks for the good harvest. Known locally as Baskets and Buns. The single women of town carry baskets on their head filled with canes adorned with dozens of small sugar figurines wrapped in colourful ribbons. They take these to the church as an offering to the saint. The rest of the participants follow carrying fruit baskets, and wine and of course naturally lots of music is offered..