Los Cristianos Carnival – 17th to 27th March

Thousands of people enjoyed the splendour of the Carnival of Santa Cruz and while it may be the biggest on the island and nothing can quite compare in size, here in the south, Los Cristianos is preparing for its own spectacular event.

At 4.00pm on 26th March, one of the most anticipated events in Arona’s calendar will take place – the Coso Apoteosis. This year’s theme is Las Vegas, but that is only a rough guide, there will no doubt be the annual favourites like Elvis and Michael Jackson joining the likes of Frank Sinatra, and Marilyn Monroe.

The streets of Los Cristianos will be festooned with colour and fantasy as locals and visitors alike will be proudly wearing their costumes for the occasion.

Prime viewing spots are bagged early, last year more than 50,000 people watched the main parade. And while preparation down by Paloma Beach may look chaotic, there is a system, thankfully known to those with clipboards who direct performers to assembly points.

The Coso will feature bedecked floats and cars, children’s and adult queens, as well as drag queens with their respective courts of honour, musical groups, the winners of the costume contests and numerous famous characters. It is a spectacular, multi-coloured caravan full of fantasy and illusion.

Perhaps not on time, but eventually wagons will roll. The drummers set the pace, everyone falls into line, and the show we have all been waiting for begins.

Thousands of local people and tourists discovering carnival for the first time will enjoy an exciting and unbridled day full of fun and giggles, and the best atmosphere imaginable. It is all very impressive.

For those who still have any energy left there will be dancing and partying late into the night, then all that is left to do is bury the sardine!

When it comes to glam, Arona put on a great show. More than 150,000 people are expected to attend the different events of the main Carnival of the South and you can find the full programme HERE

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Some Sacked Saints

I was checking information on Santa Ursula, the municipality in the north of Tenerife and saw a reference to the defrocked saint. It didn’t make sense. What could she have possibly done while wiling away her time in heaven to be demoted?

Then I remembered … in the 1960s, saints were removed from the liturgical calendar when the Pope decided some were only legends and therefore no longer worthy of the title.

Apparently Saint Ursula was a Christian princess whose father arranged for her to marry a pagan king. Although unhappy at the prospect, she set sail to meet him accompanied by eleven virgins. Here the account gets muddled as the virgins increase from 11 to 11,000! Quite how they all fitted on the boat is anybody’s guess. Nevertheless, after being blown off course, they ended up in Cologne and were all killed. As far-fetched as it sounds, it inspired Columbus to name the Virgin Islands after the ladies. However, that wasn’t enough and the church decided she was only a myth. Except in Tenerife where her feast day is still recognised.

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Other demoted saints included

Saint Nicholas known for his extreme generosity and the prototype for Santa Claus also got the boot… I couldn’t give a rat’s **** he will always be Numero Uno in our house.

Saint George the hero who slayed a dragon was beheaded after ghastly things were done to him, but only according to myth.  AND dare I say an ‘A List Celeb’  Saint Christopher who carried the child Jesus to safely across a river also got the push. There just wasn’t enough evidence he existed. My relationship with Chris goes back a long way. My gran gave me a blue enamel medal when I was 7 years old and told me I would always be safe when travelling if I wore it. For years, it kept me safe but Chris must have fallen down on the job, as traffic accidents kept increasing so he had to go.

Many must have been shocked to learn their devoted saint was no longer a saint. So maybe we should just have a default saint; mine would be Saint Jude, the patron saint of Lost Causes.
At least he can take a sad song and make it better. 

For weather & news updates  check Queenies Daily Snippets everyone’s favourite Tenerife Blog  
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The Oyster Catcher – Los Cristianos

Eating in Los Cristianos on a Saturday night is a popular pastime. It took us three attempts to find a restaurant that is not in the ‘pie, chips and cheap pints’ category. Our original plan was to meet friends at the Olive Garden Deli to try their curry, but when Barry and Ann were there, they saw the restaurant closed at 7.00pm. This was far too early, as it would mean eating around 5.00ish, so after checking out the menu online, we decided to try Hiba Hiba also in the Oasis Pasarella complex. On Thursday, I suddenly thought, what if they are full, so sent a message making a reservation, and sure enough, they were packed to the rafters and could only offer us a different day.

That meant Indian was off; Lebanese was off, what else was in that area?

Ah! The Oyster Catcher. It always looked a cut above the rest, but despite its handy location, and easy parking, I had never been.

When we arrived, we were greeted warmly, and on checking our booking, we were given a choice of tables, there were already several taken or reserved and we decided to sit inside. While waiting for our friends a waitress took our drinks order, and gave us a menu to read.

I asked the white haired man in the apron if he was Angel the owner who I had read about and he said he was. This was doubly confirmed when I watched him on the flambé trolley which is a speciality of the restaurant.

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The décor is bright and a touch traditional, the kitchen is visible which for us is important as there is nothing to hide and the service is charming, so far, this restaurant was ticking all the boxes.

It took us a while to decide what we wanted as the menu is extensive and there is also a specials board. What we didn´t realise is just how plentiful the portions were going to be.

I fancied the black pudding as a starter but I was told it was not Canarian, so both Barry and I opted for the prawn cocktail. Large fat juicy prawns on a bed of salad with fruit and a delicious sauce. Jim went for the garlic prawns that he was shown before they were flambéed, Ann was sensible and said she would wait for mains.

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We all had different main courses, these included liver and onions, gammon steak, hake and I went for the fillet steak. All meals come with a choice of potatoes and fresh vegetables. Once again, because it was going to be flambéed I was shown the raw meat and asked how I would like it. As we ate, Angel checked if everything was to our liking and particularly if my meat was cooked the way I wanted it – nice touch. We all enjoyed our meals they were simply delicious!

As said, the portions are generous, (I couldn´t manage all of my steak but it made a superb sandwich for Sunday lunch). Three of us were so stuffed we had to forego pudding but Jim had the flambé bananas that came with kiwi, strawberries, cream, and ice-cream. I don´t know where that man puts all the food.  Finally the complimentary caramel vodka rounded off the evening making it a resounding success.

Nothing makes me happier than simple food prepared to a consistently high standard, so this statement in the Oyster Catcher’s menu made me happy.

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We will certainly be back – in fact, I told our friends Rob and Mary that we would visit when they come on holiday however, I think we will be eating there long before then as it’s very hard not to like this establishment.

For  news updates  check Queenies Daily Snippets everyone’s favourite Tenerife Blog
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Las Burras of Güímar

For those seeking a unique and very a different, Carnival event, head to Güímar, for Las Burras de Güímar.

Instead of the normal burial of the sardine, the people in the municipality of Güímar celebrate with a relatively new carnival tradition. It is one of the most original carnival events in Spain that has been performed since 1992. It is a theatrical staging that has its origins in ancient legends and beliefs of the district of Guimaras and the show which attracts witches and devils attracts a growing number of people every year.

Starting from Plaza de San Pedro, on Friday, 10 March, at around 9.00pm witches will dance along the street slowly turning themselves into donkeys. The animals try to bewitch the farmers and the surrounding onlookers, there are quarrels, as they try to stop the witches performing acts of black magic in honour of the devil, and the evil dance finally ends in an epic battle with the witches burning in the fire. Good always triumphing over evil.

The official poster depicting a naked woman kneeling before Satan has raised controversy, and following an uproar on social networks has been censored. Strangely, five years ago, the 2012, poster also depicting a woman baring all caused no such scandal.

Another a poster of Las Burras 2017 that is circulating – All very pagan, mystical and fun.

For news updates around south Tenerife check Queenies Daily Snippets
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Culture, Traditions, Pilgrimages in March & April

Continuing the theme of Culture, Traditions, and Pilgrimages that take place across the island, March and April are when depending on the year the months when Easter is celebrated on the island.

Holy week

It comes as a surprise to many that Easter is still a time when the enormous religious fervour of the Islanders comes to the fore. Many municipalities celebrate with traditional processions and events that mark the ecclesiastical tradition, such as La Orotava, Puerto de la Cruz, Icod de los Vinos, Santa Cruz, Arona, and especially, La Laguna, Candelaria, and Güímar, who put on a display of the Stations of the Cross.

Processions and the Stations of the Cross in Adeje

Holy Week in Adeje is really special. In addition to the traditional processions that take to the streets lined with devout believers, there is an unmissable event that takes place in the town on Good Friday each year. The re-enactment of the Passion of Christ. The ceremony is truly extraordinary because of its realistic and moving performance. What makes it so special is the quality of the setting and the cast, with some four hundred locals from the town the southern region depicting this religious scene. The accuracy of the setting and the impeccable performance of some of the key moments in the Stations of the Cross have turned this religious ceremony into one of the major events on Tenerife’s Easter calendar.

Crossing the Peaks

The Island’s mountain peaks were once busy with people crisscrossing Tenerife to exchange and barter goods. Today, these comings and goings are represented in what is known as the Crossing of the Peaks (or “El Paso de la Cumbre” in Spanish). Performing the show are locals and actors, dressed in traditional attire and carrying the tools that countrymen would have used some forty or fifty years ago. The re-enactment takes place in late March in Santiago del Teide and is a valuable way of saving local traditions.

Festival of Music and Baroque

Between March-April Puerto de la Cruz is the setting for this unique event, organized by the Association Coral Reyes Bartlet. The festival features many concerts and courses of Baroque music. More information: here

Musical whims

This festival takes place between April and July in Baja, mainly in the islands old convents and squares across the municipalities of the region. Carefully chosen vocal and instrumental concerts and master classes are held. More information: website

Pilgrimage of San Marcos

On the last Sunday in April, the whole town of Tegueste puts on their glad rags to welcome thousands of pilgrims in traditional dress who make their way amidst carts adorned with natural products from the fields, floats, folk groups from all of the Canary Islands and herds of livestock to remember the saint.

Folk Festival 7 Islas

Artists and folk groups from all the islands come every April to Tenerife and gather in the Plaza de San Marcos, in Tegueste. The Festival is a classic, and living proof of what are our musical traditions.

Source and Images courtesy of WebTenerife
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