Top 10 Tenerife Fiestas
If there's one thing the islanders like to do it's PARTY!!!! So not much of an excuse is needed to down tools, uncork the vino and throw caution and conservatism to the wind. There are literally hundreds, but these are our Top 10 Tenerife Fiestas.
1. Carnival (spelled Carnaval in Spanish)
Tenerife spends half of every year preparing for its annual carnival and the other half recovering from it. From beauty queens to drag queens, street parades to plaza parties and fabulous fancy dress costumes to funerals for giant sardines, Carnaval is a hedonistic feast of fun and insanity for those with the adrenalin and the legs to survive it.
2. Santa Blues
In the heat of June in the city, the trendy Noria District of Santa Cruz stages the coolest sounds around by bringing some of the biggest names in Blues to their annual open air music festival. From foot-stomping blues rock to funky Memphis soul, Santa Blues is a magnet for music aficionados and air guitarists.
3. Tres Reyes (Three Kings)
This festive fiesta is held on the 6th January and is the Spanish equivalent of Christmas Eve. Re-enacting the arrival of the Three Kings in Jerusalem, the latter day Kings can arrive on camels, by helicopter or by boat depending whereabouts in Tenerife you are. Get the offspring practised in the art of snatching flying sweets from the air before they have your eye out and enjoy a fabulous family spectacle.
4. Fiestas of the Cross
The night of May 3rd is the date to wrap up warm and head to the town of Los Realejos Alto for one of Europe's biggest fireworks displays. Two rival fireworks factories battle it out in the night sky for the most spectacular displays which explode across the La Orotava Valley. There can be long gaps between bursts so make sure the kids are packing Super Mario Brothers on the Nintendos.
5. Corpus Christi Flower Carpets
The tradition of carpeting streets in petals for the feast of Corpus Christi in early summer is practised in many places on Tenerife, particularly around the north of the island. But head to the charismatic town of La Orotava to watch the most incredible floral works of art blossoming.
6. San Juan
In Puerto de la Cruz on the morning of June 24th, goats are driven to the town harbour and bathed in the sea to assure good health and fertility for the coming year. The night before, on Midsummer's Eve, thousands of people take to the beaches of Tenerife to celebrate the summer solstice in fire and food and when the midnight hour arrives, tradition dictates that a dip in the sea will assure good health and fertility for the... hang on, wasn't that the goats?
7. San Abad
In Buenavista and Los Silos the livestock and pets from the entire borough are brought to town to be blessed by the priest. Seeing thousands of head of oxen, horses, goats, sheep, dogs and the occasional iguana along the high street is a bizarre spectacle even by Tenerife standards.
8. Our Lady of Candelaria
On the 14th and 15th of August, pilgrims travel on foot to the town of Candelaria to celebrate the feast day of the Patron Saint of the Canary Islands. Celebrations involve a piece of theatre in which two shepherds grow ever more annoyed when a statue refuses to move of its own accord (it's a long story), lots of stalls selling food and crafts and a spectacular fireworks display.
Taking place in towns and villages all over Tenerife throughout the summer, these local fiestas invariably feature oxen pulling mobile barbecues and kitchens on carts and assorted food items being thrown to onlookers. If you're lucky you'll end up with a free lunch with wine, if you're not, you'll end up with a black eye.
10. The Passion
To mark Good Friday, the townsfolk of Adeje stage a re-enactment of the crucifixion of Christ which involves a production of such magnitude and intensity that just being in the crowd leaves you feeling guilty and in serious need of a hand wash.