Although June is generally seen as quiet as far as tourists are concerned, it is a busy month for parties. We kick off with San Antonio, slide past both San Isidro and Santa María de la Cabeza then there is a corridor of uncertainty as to whether San Pedro should be in the middle or the end of the month but the goal poacher has got to be San Juan.
Nevertheless the first Romería of June is in honour of San Antonio de Padua starting early in the month and continuing until the Sunday before his saint’s day which is 13th June. It has become one of the most important Romerías in the South, with over 10,000 people attending.
San Antonio de Padua is the patron saint of Granadilla and he is commonly referred to as the finder of lost articles. Perhaps that is why at this particular fiesta it is a tradition, that the youth dress up and go out to find a mate. St Anthony is also patron of the poor and the distribution of food from the numerous floats converted from buses or lorries is a great attraction. This includes meats, boiled eggs, local wines, beer and soft drinks all thrown into the crowds so hopefully you are good at catching.
These events all have their own local flavour but in general follow a similar pattern. The festival is divided into religious acts the first being a holy Mass followed by blessings of animals, floats, bread, (a gesture towards holy intervention when bread was scarce) in fact anything and anyone is blessed.
This is then followed by Canarian bands and folk groups, there no lack of traditional music, to liven up the streets of Granadilla so the pilgrims and of course the visitors can dance and sing their way along the grand parade which covers over two miles and lasts for more than two hours.
There are sports activities, firework displays, craft fairs and competitions and of course the festival Queen all in honour of the saint. The atmosphere is fun filled with an abundance of amusements for young and old – what more could you wish for.