The ultimate festive vibe
Tenerife's inhabitants have partying written in their genes. The mixture of cultures that have influenced Tenerife, blended with the Island's natural light give the Islanders their jolly, bubbling character. They consider themselves to be a lively bunch and admit that they have a soft spot for celebrations.
Among the many multitudinous events in the Two Valleys, you really should not miss the pilgrimage festivities in the north. The pilgrimages of Los Realejos and La Orotava are extremely popular and a whole lot of fun. Brace yourself for a good dose of folk music, local produce, and colourful “magi'” costumes (which are actually the attire that the Island's peasants used to wear).
If you're visiting the Island in June, the Corpus Christi celebrations fill the central streets of La Orotava with carpets made of flowers and sand from mount Teide. Over a thousand local people and families take part in making them. To do so, they use 40,000 rose buds and at least as many daisies, chrysanthemums and carnations.
The sand from mount Teide comes in no less seventeen natural colours to decorate the main carpet in the square outside the Town Hall, covering 900 m2 (9700 sq. ft.). To create every one of its details and finishing touches, the craftsmen spend a month and a half making it, only to see it destroyed after 24 hours by the Corpus Christi procession.
Keep a page free in your diary to attend the magis' dance in La Orotava, which draws in thousands of Islanders from all over Tenerife. The dress code states that you have to wear the traditional outfit, but you don't need to buy it – you can rent one locally at a very affordable price.
On 16 July, Puerto de la Cruz hosts the Virgen del Carmen festival. For many, the main attraction is witnessing the ecstasy and euphoria that spreads among the crowd as they watch the figure of the Virgin embarking on her vessel at the dock.
The Virgen del Socorro festival in the valley of Güímar is no less captivating. This is the Canary Islands' most popular pilgrimage and commemorates the moment when the Virgen del Socorro appeared to Tenerife's aboriginal Guanche people.
The religious fervour of Tenerife's people reaches its peak on 15 August, the day that commemorates the Canary Islands' Patron Saint, the Virgen de Candelaria. Thousands of pilgrims take to the Island's paths from all over Tenerife to pay their tribute to the Virgin, who they have fondly named "La Morenita", meaning "the brunette".
You are welcome to join in the fun by visiting the town of Candelaria. On the morning of the 15th, a huge service is held, followed by re-enactment of the Virgin's appearance before the Guanches in the nearby Achinet cave. The event ends with a procession around the square outside the basilica. Adding to the flavour of the event are stalls selling sugared almonds and traditional sweets, as well as terraces serving delights such as fried sardines.