Category Archives: Traditions

Romerías in Tenerife – calendar, history and tradition

The pilgrimages, called romerías, of Tenerife are certainly the highest expression of Canarian idiosyncrasy. People dressed in traditional costumes (many hand-woven and embroidered) accompany ox carts decorated with great attention to detail, distributing traditional delicacies to all passers-by. Music in each corner, sounds created by unique instruments of the Canaries… Join us!

Origin of the pilgrimages in Tenerife

The romerías arise from religious pilgrimages, made first to Rome (hence the term “romería”). But then they brought it to each municipality making the pilgrimage towards the church or Saint.

In Tenerife, the oldest celebration not only of the Island but of the entire archipelago is the “Romería del Socorro”. It is celebrated in the municipality Güímar in September and comes from the Guanche era. When the aborigines found the Virgin of Candelaria, the Mencey (King) Acaymo decided to carry the statue and had to ask for help, as it was not transportable because of its weight.

Romería de Tenerife Socorro Guimar

Today the pilgrimages have evolved to be an effusive expression of the Canarian people. Chácaras (percussion musical instrument), carts, traditional dresses and typical dishes mark the beat of any celebration, to which the locals usually decorate their balconies with elements and pennants.

Romerías in Tenerife of special tourist interest

On our island there are an infinity of pilgrimages, each with its own character and identity. However, some of our celebrations stand out and have been awarded the title “Fiestas of National Tourist Interest”. These are for example: the Fiesta de las Cruces and Fuegos de Mayo in Los Realejos (although this is not a pilgrimage) and the Octava del Corpus and Romería of San Isidro in La Orotava.

Romeria La Orotava

Other noteworthy romerías of the island are: the Romería of San Isidro Labrador (in Los Realejos), the Romería of San Agustín, the Romería of San Roque, the Romería of San Benito Abad and the Romería of the district La Florida, which premiered this year the distinctive “Fiesta of Regional Tourist Interest”.

Pilgrimage calendar of Tenerife 2019

In May starts the romería season on the island. Most of these festivals take place until September, although they are celebrated all year round. If you are looking for a complete calendar of pilgrimages in 2019, Casa de los Balcones has created an updated calendar with all the important dates and celebrations, although here we summarise the most important festivals:

Romería of San Marcos in Tegueste

The event will be celebrated this year on Sunday, May 5th. It is one of the most popular romerías in Tenerife. Thousands of locals and visitors come together to see the famous carts that populate the streets of Tegueste. Last year 80,000 people participated in the romería.

Romeria San Marcos

Pilgrimage of San Isidro Labrador in Los Realejos

Since the seventeenth century, this festival is celebrated in the municipality of Los Realejos. Documents from 1676 confirm that the peasants worshiped the saintly figure of San Isidro Labrador. Nowadays, the event is a “Fiesta of National Tourist Interest” and a very special day for the locals. This year it will be celebrated on June 2nd from 12:00 pm in the Parich of the Apostle Santiago.

Romeria San Isidro Labrador

Pilgrimage of San Isidro in La Orotava

84 carts crowned one of Tenerife’s most multitudinous pilgrimages last year. This year, the “Fiesta of National Tourist Interest” will also be celebrated on June 30th. In addition, it celebrates 83 years of history paying homage to San Isidro Labrador and Santa María de la Cabeza.

Romeria San Isidro Tenerife

Pilgrimage of San Benito Abad in La Laguna

On July 14th, one of the most important festivals will take place in the municipality of the UNESCO World Heritage Site: the pilgrimage of San Benito Abad in La Laguna. Around 43,000 people gathered at this popular celebration last year. In total, more than 55 carts participated, demonstrating their status as a “Festival of National Tourist Interest”.

Romeria La Laguna

There are many more events, but that would go beyond this blog post. Therefore, do not forget to check our calendar to be informed about all news and events.

Holy Week in Tenerife – passion and tradition

The Holy Week in Tenerife is lived with great devotion. Many municipalities of the island come together to celebrate the ecclesiastical tradition with different events. It is an ideal time to get to know the history and processions of the island.

Holy Week in La Laguna

Semana Santa La Laguna

In San Cristobal de La Laguna Lent is lived with special devotion. Not in vain, this year is the second centenary of the local diocese. Neighbors and brotherhoods come together during the festivities to make the World Heritage City shine in the best light in each procession.

The richness and diversity of works and images from places as diverse as Cuba, Mexico, Flanders or Seville stand out especially in the Holy Week of La Laguna. The so-called “Procession of Silence”, which will take place on Friday, the 19th, from 10:00 pm, is one of the most important events. It is performed at night, in absolute silence, you only be able to hear the walk of the Nazarenes who accompany the image of the deceased Christ.

Holy Week in Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Semana Santa en Tenerife

The capital of the island also hosts many events during Holy Week. The centre of the festival is the Church of Matrix de la Concepción, the main Catholic church of the city and the place from which most of the old town can be reached.

One of the most revered figures is “La Macarena”, which was created after the image of its namesake from Seville and was carved by a sculptor from Granada living in Tenerife. On the night of Maundy Thursday, as they leave the church, the bearers rock the figure to the beat of the music. It is one of the most emotional moments of the celebrations.

Easter in Guía de Isora

Pascua Florida Guia de Isora

In Guía de Isora they live the tradition in a very original way. The “Pascua Florida” is a unique ephemeral art event in Spain that brings together local and international artists to create beautiful works and sculptures. They are inspired by passion scenes and use flowers and plant material as the main motif of their works.

The works exhibited on the main squares and streets of the old town can be visited from April 18th to 21st. You can also enjoy opera, contemporary dance and even take part in a photo contest that will reward the best photograph of Easter.

Representation of Easter in Adeje

Representacion Adeje

 

In the municipality of Adeje takes place one of the most characteristic performances of the Holy Week, broadcast even by local and national television. This tradition began spontaneously in 1996 as a small homage, where neighbors collaborated.

Over time, it has grown to bring together hundreds of actors and extras, many of them are residents of the municipality. The performed scenes are part of the last moments of the life of Jesus Christ, the crucifixion on the square of the Church of Santa Úrsula is the most emotional moment.

The performance will take place on Friday, April 19th, at 12:00 pm at Calle Grande de Adeje.

Holy Week in other municipalities in Tenerife

Many other municipalities on the island also celebrate the Holy Week. In Santiago del Teide, one of the places in the south, this tradition is also more deeply rooted. In the municipalities such as Arona, Puerto de la Cruz, Candelaria, Guimar, Icod de los Vinos or La Orotava it is also celebrated with special devotion.

If you are in Tenerife during Holy Week to get to know the culture, remember all the family activities or the new adventures that you can be booked right here. We look forward to seeing you!

Carnival in Tenerife 2019 – the most important dates

The Carnival of Tenerife 2019 is here and with it the big parties, lots of fun and great costumes. You still do not know which are the most important events? It would be great having the different carnival programmes of the municipalities to plan your carnival on the island… No problem, here is a brief summary of the main celebrations, so you do not miss anything.

Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2019

The most famous carnival of all is celebrated in the capital and marks the start of the season for the whole island. We have to divide the carnival into two areas: the contests and the street carnival.

Carnaval de Tenerife 2019 Santa Cruz

Contests and Gala elections of the Carnival of Tenerife

The competitions are characterised by the fact that the best groups, costumes and dances of the carnival come together and compete in great contests against each other. The carnival groups such as murgas, comparsas and rondallas are well known, but the prelude to the carnival on the street, is always the Gala of the Carnival Queen, which is celebrated on February 27th this year.

After the election of the Carnival Queen, the street parties officially begin with the opening parade on Friday, March 1st. The next day, on Saturday, March 2nd, the comparsas will be having a great night out at the “Rhythm and Harmony” parade, one of the most rhythmic and colourful events.

Carnaval de Tenerife 2019 Carnaval en la Calle

Carnival on the street

There is something for everyone at the street carnival, for the little ones and for adults, whether during the day or at night. The carnival of the day is celebrated on March 3rd and 9th, while the carnival at night takes place the whole week with various concerts and events such as the burial of the sardine. Below you have a summary image with all the highlights and the carnival programme of Tenerife.

Programa Carnaval de Tenerife 2019

International Carnival of Puerto de la Cruz 2019

Carnaval Puerto de la Cruz 2019 Mascarita Ponte Tacón

In Puerto de la Cruz there is also a carnival and the men’s marathon “Mascarita Ponte Tacón” is the absolute highlight. In this crazy race men wear extravagant costumes and gigantic heels, which must be at least 8 centimetres high. The marathon will be held on Friday, March 8th, starting at 8:00 pm.

Carnival of Los Gigantes 2019

Carnaval de Los Gigantes 2019

The whole Olympus will come to the carnival in Los Gigantes, Santiago del Teide, because the festivities are dedicated to Greek deities this year. From March 15th to 23rd (next to the carnival in Los Cristianos) different celebrations take place and make this carnival one of the most important events in the south of the island.

Carnival of Los Cristianos 2019

Carnaval de Los Cristianos 2019

The jungle is the topic chosen this year by the International Carnival of Los Cristianos, which is the last to be held from March 21st to April 1st. The most important dates of this carnival are the opening parade on Saturday, March 23rd, the Queen’s Gala election on Thursday, March 28th, the Drag Queen Gala on Friday, March 29th, the carnival of the day on March 30th, and the Apotheosis parade on March 31st, ending with the burial of the sardine on April 1st.

Carnival of Candelaria 2019

Carnaval de Candelaria 2019

This year the carnival of Candelaria will be celebrated from March 9th to the 23rd. The programme includes the Queen’s Gala election on March 15th, the choreographic festival and carnival on March 17th, the Drag Queen Gala on March 22nd and the dance of the carnival on March 23rd.

Carnival of Los Silos 2019

Carnaval de Los Silos 2019

The historic town of Los Silos is also celebrating its carnival in March, from the 4th to the 10th. One of the funniest events is the crazy car race on Saturday, March 9th.

Piñata Chica de Tacoronte 2019

Carnaval de Tacoronte 2019

The Piñata Chica, the carnival in the municipality of Tacoronte from March 15th to 18th, are festivities where especially the little ones can celebrate big. Particularly noteworthy is the traditional show of classic cars on March 17th.

With so many carnival possibilities, you will definitely enjoy our tradition! Do not forget to check our event calendar for more events and more news on the island.

Wines of Tenerife – protagonists in November

The wines of Tenerife are simply unique, not only because of their volcanic character, but also because of their very special history. Shakespeare loved the wine of the largest Canary Island, and historians even suspect that a Malvasia of Tenerife was offered at the Declaration of Independence of the United States.

Viñedo de Tenerife

White, rosé and red wines

Today all colour varieties and wines are produced in Tenerife, although the ones initially grown on the island were white. The vines were brought by Portuguese settlers from Extremadura to La Mancha and Andalusia. Here are the roots of our wine today.

The Malvasia was initially the main economic engine of the island. It was a highly valued wine in Europe, called “canary sack”, and was exported in large quantities to the Old Continent. Shakespeare once mentioned this wine in his historical drama “Henry IV”. It was a wine that “perfumed the blood” while drinking it.

Paisaje Vinícola Tenerife

Although it is not the only variety of wines on the island. The Listán Blanco, Listán Negro, Verdello or Albillo are highly valued by the winemakers. Currently, the wines in the category “premium” have been positioned very well. They have more structure and are more intense in flavour without losing their originality.

Denominations of Origin of Tenerife, vineyards from north to south

There are five traditional denominations of origin in Tenerife, pioneered by Tacoronte-Acentejo, founded in 1992.

Tacoronte-Acentejo

Influenced by the Atlantic Ocean and cultivated in one of Tenerife’s most beautiful landscapes, the wines of Tacoronte-Acentejo in the north of the island comprise up to 9 different municipalities, sometimes over 1,000 metres above sea level. They stand out for their aromatic and fruity character, especially red wines, which make up 80% of the production in this area.

Bodega de Tenerife

Abona

The many hours of sunshine in the south of Tenerife favour the varieties of white wine that are grown in the region of Abona, especially the exquisite Listán Blanco grape. In this area, Spain’s highest wine varieties are grown at 1,700 metres in the municipality of Vilaflor. They have a soft and fruity aroma and include nuances of almond blossom, mango and banana.

The valley of Güímar

With shades ranging from pale yellow to golden, the wines of Valle de Güímar are primarily white, with touches of fruit and fresh herbs. The rosé wines, on the other hand, have a touch of red fruit, while the reds have earthy notes.

La Orotava valley

In the La Orotava valley, the place that inspired the German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt, wines are cultivated with a special aroma influenced by the pleasant climate and the trade winds.

Slightly bitter and fruity aromas, especially highlight the variety of white wines in this región. The rosé wines also play an important role with their raspberry colour and an aroma reminiscent of wild fruits. The red wines of the region have a soft and varied aroma with a bitter touch on the palate.

Vinos de Tenerife

Ycoden-Daute-Isora

The wines of Ycoden-Daute-Isora look clear and pure, especially the Malvasia wine. Its colour is golden and its fruity and floral aroma gives the palate sweet and sour notes. Special mention deserves the rosé wines because their taste is very tropical thanks to their subtle pineapple and strawberry notes.

November and December, the ideal months for wines in Tenerife

Towards the end of the year is the best time to taste the wine of Tenerife, as you can already enjoy the first wines of the new harvest. At the end of November (at the same time as the San Andrés celebrations), winemakers open their bodegas (wine cellars) to meet with loyal customers and gain new customers. Just follow the smell of roasted chestnuts, the sound of celebrating people, the happiness and joy… Then you will certainly find the Tenerife wines.

May – month of Romerías (pilgrimages) in Tenerife

Cheerful people to the sound of music, carts and stalls full of traditional food, colourful hand-woven dresses… No doubt, this is a Romería!

Pilgrimages, festivals and traditions

The pilgrimages, in Spanish Romería, of our island are the most traditional expression of joy, celebration and culture. Throughout Tenerife there are alternate celebrations, many of them have been held for decades. Each municipality has its own party, where homage is usually paid to the saint or local patron. This is accompanied by thousands of faithful to the rhythm of chácaras and timples, the traditional instruments of Canarian folklore.

The locals are proud to show their dances, ceremonies and different acts and everyone is invited. Everyone can join in, become part of the pilgrimages, experience the culture and history up close and taste the local cuisine on the Romería.

An opportunity to discover the gastronomy of Tenerife

If you are one of those who like to travel with all your senses, the flavours of Tenerife will not disappoint you. You may have heard of mojo, a traditional mild or spicy sauce that accompanies another great dish of our cuisine: the wrinkled potato. It is also possible that you have heard of gofio or our delicious goat cheeses and honey, essential for pilgrimages.

In any case, it is certain that your palate will love our Romerías. Ox carts, decorated with products and motifs of each place, are filled with delicacies and local wine. When preparing and serving the meat, fish and other dishes people sing joyfully. Well, it’s almost impossible to leave a pilgrimage with an empty stomach!

May, a month full of pilgrimages in Tenerife

May and August are usually the months with the most Romerías in Tenerife; especially in the month of May take place a lot of events. Practically there are Romerías throughout the island, with municipalities in the north and south celebrating pilgrimages in honour of various saints, the most common being the festivities in honour of San Isidro and Santa María de la Cabeza.

The House of the Balconies, the Casa de los Balcones, has prepared a calendar (in Spanish in this case) with all the celebrations so that you can plan ahead and immerse yourself in our culture on your arrival to Tenerife.

Baile de Mago, a traditional dance festival in Tenerife

Along with the pilgrimages are usually also celebrated the “Bailes de Magos”, another popular celebration. This festival is also characterised by local gastronomy and Canarian music. The name “mago” refers to the peasants, as they used to be called „magicians“. The farmers came together and formed traditional folklore groups, as they still exist today.

Hundreds of people put on their costumes to dance and celebrate, one of the highlights of the municipal celebrations. If you want to get to know our culture and merge with the locals, the month of May is perfect, but don’t worry, folk festivals take place throughout the whole year.

The history of Carnival in Tenerife

We are still in carnival mood, because some municipalities of Tenerife are still celebrating carnival. Colours and rhythms flood the streets. Everybody is invited to participate in the big show. But how did it start with the carnival in Tenerife? Do you know the origins of this popular event?

Origins of the carnival

There is no consensus on the origin of the term “carnival”. Some experts consider that it comes from the medieval Latin “carnelevarium”, which means “to remove the meat“. This refers to Lent, when consumption of meat is forbidden. Other studies, however, point to a more mythological origin on the “Carrus Navalis” (pronounced Car Navalis), which has a religious background.

In any case, it is true that the carnival has survived attempts at censorship and oppression throughout history.

History of Carnival in Tenerife

The carnival found its way to the islands through the European culture of the Spaniards in the 16th century. According to historians, the carnival was already so popular that the wealthy classes of the island celebrated it with dances and parties in the cities.

During the 19th century the carnival began to evolve. In addition to dance and party, various exhibitions, competitions and costumes were added. At that time, the use of masks began to spread. Women of the high society used them to mingle with folk festivals without being recognised.

Popularity of the carnival

The carnival became, little by little, an increasingly attractive party, not only for the locals, but also for the tourists that began to arrive during the 20th century.

In 1925, Tenerife’s first carnival programme was launched by the City Council of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, which from then on was responsible for organising the event. We can say that this was the actual birth of the so-called “Murgas, Comparsas, Rondallas” and various carnival groups that designed ever more complex and elaborate costumes.

During the dictatorship of Franco, attempts were made to suppress these associations. Finally in 1961 they accepted the carnival under the beautifying name “Winterfest”. In 1967 it receives the award “Celebration of National Tourist Interest” and in 1980, once again with the name “Carnival”, it received the recognition “Festival of International Tourist Interest”.

You will not come to Tenerife during carnival? No problem, then visit the House of the Carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. An exhibition where you can admire the lavish costumes all year round, including those of the Carnival Queens, and learn all about history.

Carnival in Tenerife

It is the event to which everyone is invited. Friends and families spend weeks or even months designing their original outfits.

Thousands of tourists flock to the capital to see the Carnival Queen and her entourage on the parades… The big parade “Coso Apoteosis 2018” brought 7,000 tourists and journalists from countries such as Russia, Finland, Poland or Denmark to Tenerife.

When the carnival comes to an end, the costumes and the drums are returned to their place; but not for a long time, because the next carnival is coming soon.

Highlights of the Carnival of Santa Cruz 2018 and definition of terms

During the Carnival week in Santa Cruz you will hear some terms that we will explain to you today:

The “Comparsas”

These are the musical carnival groups that bring colour, joy and rhythm to the carnival with exuberant costumes and sonorous drums. Their competition took place behind closed doors on February 3rd, and they took to the streets on February 10th to show their choreography and great dresses at the “Rhythm and Harmony” parade on Francisco La Roche Avenue. You can also admire them at other carnival events and especially during the apotheosis parade.

The “Entierro de la Sardina”

One of the funniest nights is the funeral of the sardine. Here people disguise as widows and say good bye with sorrow and tears to the carnival. On Ash Wednesday, February 14th, at 10 pm the funeral parade begins, ending with the symbolic burial of the sardine.

„Apotheosis“ Parade

Carnival Tuesday is one of the most important days, as the parade with the “Comparsas” and the Carnival Queens draws through the streets of Santa Cruz. This year it will be on February 13th at 4:00 pm.

The “Rondallas”

The “Rondallas” are music groups and the first representatives of the Santa Cruz Carnival. Their performances are characterised by vocal technique and sarcastic interpretation of current political and cultural topics. The competition took place on February 4th and on February 11th and 12ththey we went to the streets and squares, where various performances took place.

“Piñata” Sunday

Sunday, the February 18th, is the last carnival day in Santa Cruz and will be celebrated more quietly after the parade on Saturday. In the morning classic cars drive through the city, while the farewell takes place at 9 pm with a big fireworks display.

We wish you a lot of fun at the Carnival 2018 in the capital of Tenerife!

Carnival 2018 in Tenerife

Drums sound nearby, the rhythm takes over you and the streets fill with colours, people gather, laugh and have fun with a multitude of colorful costumes… No doubt! This is the carnival in Tenerife!

Carnival of Tenerife 2018

The first city to start the celebrations is Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Thousands of people come together to live one of the biggest festivals of the year. Fantasy is the theme of this year’s carnival – so fairies, goblins and wizards are the stars of 2018.

The carnival poster titled “The Guardian of the Scepter”, painted by Nareme Mahugo Melian, pays homage to another historical painter of carnival posters, Juan Galarza.

Carnival programme of Tenerife 2018

Here you’ll find the carnival programme and we explain briefly what you shouldn’t miss at the carnival in Santa Cruz:

The so-called “murgas” (carnival groups) have already been elected these days, as well as the carnival queens, both children and seniors. These events were held in the city’s exhibition centre (with tickets only). The carnival on the streets always takes place after the election of the Carnival Queen.

On Friday, February 9th, the carnival’s opening parade will begin with the amazing costumes of the Queens, their entourage and the carnival clubs that roam the city’s main streets.

Carnival at night 2018

On the same Friday, the Carnival Nights, which take place until Saturday, the 17th (with the exception of Thursday, the 15th). There will be different stages with live acts at the squares Plaza de la Candelaria, Plaza Principe and Avenida Francisco La Roche.

Sebastian Yatra is one of the favoured singers at this year’s “Night Carnival”. He will perform his Latin rhythms on Monday,February 12th at 01:50 a.m. at the Plaza de la Candelaria. After that it stays rhythmic until the morning with Edwin Rivera and the salsa-orchestra Sabrosa.

Carnival at day 2018

The Day Carnival will take place on February 11th and 17th. On Saturday, February 17th, there will be various musical performances by famous artists such as Olga Tañon, Juan Magan and Gente de Zona at the Avenida Francisco La Roche, from 4:00 to 10:00 p.m.

Warm Christmas holidays in Tenerife

Do you love the Christmas season? Then you will love Tenerife.

As everywhere in Spain, Christmas ends with the Three Kings’ Day on January 6th. Until then you can visit lots of traditional events and the pleasant climate brings us on top an unforgettable Christmas holiday in Tenerife.

Can you imagine walking on a paradisiacal beach on December 25th before diving into crystal-clear water? No problem on the largest of the Canary Islands!

But in addition to the spectacular climate and breathtaking nature of the island, Tenerife offers many cultural events during the Christmas season. For example, open air, you can listen to the Christmas concert in the capital, Santa Cruz. Make sure to try the „Truchas de Boniato y Cabello de Ángel“, a typical Christmas biscuit. And you definitely shouldn’t miss the lovingly handcrafted cribs that are exhibited in public buildings, on town hall squares or privately in the municipalities.

Activities for the whole family

In addition to the Christmas concert of the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra, the PIT will take place in the capital in the International Centre for Fairs and Congresses. For three weeks, various recreational events for children are offered.

There is also a small ice rink in Santa Cruz. Ice skating under palm trees, isn’t that great?!

The museums of Tenerife also invite you to a variety of leisure and educational activities with interesting workshops during these Christmas holidays.

New this year in the capital

New this year is “El Rinconcito Navideño” with funfair, sale of Christmas decorations, Christmas cookies, food trucks and activities for children, similar to a Christkindlmarkt.

Start the New Year with a dip

Spending the New Year’s Eve outside under the palm trees is really something special.

In Tenerife you start the evening with a gala dinner in one of the many restaurants or hotels, spending the rest of the night under the stars and enjoying the colorful fireworks. The next morning you can dive into the sea, as a symbol of renewal and purity and start 2018 in a different way.

The Three Wise Men in Tenerife

Christmas is also a time for parades, the most important one is the Three Kings Parade, the evening before the Three Kings’ Day, on January 5th, taking place in all the municipalities of the island.

Thousands of families gather here to celebrate the arrival of the Three Kings of the Orient and their entourage. Mostly they ride on their camels (traditional way), but also in classic cars, floats or even on foot, they arrive on the island and give sweets to young and old. The next morning, on January 6th, finally, the long-awaited Christmas gifts are under the Christmas tree, before the magic of Christmas is over again…