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Even with the start of the 'new normality' on 21 June 2020, popular fiestas and most large gatherings and events are still prohibited and social distancing guidelines still in force. Dates listed on this site, therefore, are still subject to cancellation or change and we will update, where we can, when any new information is made available.

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Thursday, August 13, 2020

Canary Islands tighten measures against COVID-19: masks now mandatory at all times, smoking prohibited in the street if there is no distance and closing of nightclubs

Masks are now mandatory at all times in the Canary Islands

The president of the Canary Islands Regional Government has affirmed that meetings of more than 10 people will not be allowed and has sent a message to young people: "You are not invincible, anyone can end up in a hospital and die."

The Canary Islands have tightened their measures against the COVID-19 pandemic, which is rebounding in recent days. The regional president, Ángel Víctor Torres, has announced that from its publication in the Official Gazette of the Canary Islands (BOC), on Friday 14 August, the use of masks will be mandatory, also in open spaces (as they are already in closed ones) and even if social distance can be maintained, nightlife will be restricted and sanctions will be imposed on people who hold meetings of more than ten people.

Torres also stated that smoking will not be allowed in open spaces if distances are not maintained, a measure also introduced in Galicia. The president recalled that most of the infections are occurring in family gatherings and parties, mainly in the capital of the island of Gran Canaria, where 95% of the cases are people under 30 years of age, and has sent a message to young people: "You are not invincible, anyone can end up in a hospital and die."

The most important outbreak at this time - with 60 positives - occurred in a festive atmosphere in an area of ​​the capital of Gran Canaria that brings together several discotheques. The objective is to pursue these places where proximity, concurrence and closed spaces coincide. The president recalled that the Canary Islands is one of the communities where nightlife was allowed, first only in open areas and later with capacity and masks. Now, due to the circumstances, the decree of last June 20 is applied again, which cites: "Clubs and other nightlife establishments may open exclusively outdoor spaces to the public, for consumption sitting at the table. In any case, the capacity on terraces will be 75% and interpersonal distance will have to be maintained or, failing that, the use of a mask ".

Torres announced that they will screen all users and workers of residences (care homes) to do the PCR again, since it is a sector "that concerns us a lot." In addition, tracking will be intensified to follow up any contagion or suspect in the islands. The press conference ended by appealing to the responsibility of young people and of Canarian society in general.

Canarias prohíbe fumar en la calle si no hay distancias, cierra discotecas y obliga a usar mascarillas siempre [Via]

Comparsa Los Tabajaras 2020

Comparsa Los Tabajaras 2020

The comparsa groups epitomise the spirit of carnival with all they impart in their 'colour, joy and rhythm [...] with exuberant costumes and sonorous drums.' Comparsa Los Tabajaras were winners of the first place for presentation at the Comparsas Contest in 2020.

Carnival 2021: Carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife has been postponed to the second quarter of 2021 because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The city council will choose the final date in September 2020 and in consensus with the carnival groups. Three options are currently being considered: April, May or July 2021. New dates will be listed here.

Los Tabajaras | Comparsas Adultas | S/C Tenerife 2020

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

The six most beautiful towns in Tenerife

Houses that would have fronted the port until 1706, from the Parque de la Puerta de Tierra, Garachico

Entirely subjective, because this is the most beautiful towns in Tenerife, according to the newspaper ‘Público, but we cannot disagree that the island houses some of the most charming and unique municipalities of the archipelago, most of them located in the north of the island, and that Tenerife is much more than its beaches and all-inclusive hotels.

1. Garachico

Located in the northwest, Garachico intermingles with the sea, the volcanic landscape and the Canary pine. The eruption of the Trevejo volcano, which devastated it in 1706, only served to rebuild it even more fascinating than before. It is worth noting the natural pools of El Caletón, one of its most popular bathing areas. Its cobbled streets and excellent gastronomic offer attract hundreds of tourists and locals to enjoy the town daily.

Iglesia de San Marcos, Tegueste. Mataparda / Public domain

2. Tegueste

One of the three Tenerife municipalities that lack a coast (the others are El Tanque and Vilaflor), authentic Canarian tradition among vineyards and historical buildings, make Tegueste a tranquil stop. The Camino de los Laureles connects with the pure nature of the place. Its historic center was declared a Site of Cultural Interest in 1986.

Mercado del Agricultor Güímar. Photo Jose Mesa Some Rights Reserved

3. Güímar

Located in the southeast of Tenerife, it houses the Malpaís de Güímar Special Nature Reserve, whose volcanic landscape merges with the sea. Güímar has some of the most popular and most visited ravines on the island: Herques, El Escobonal or Badajoz ravines. It also has a coastal area where you can enjoy a wide gastronomic and leisure offer.

Church of San Juan Bautista in San Juan de la Rambla Paweł 'pbm' Szubert / CC BY-SA

4. San Juan de la Rambla

Picturesque Tenerife municipality, located in the North. It preserves authentic Canarian heritage, together with its old streets, make the walk through San Juan de la Rambla truly enjoyable. It has one of the most beautiful natural pools in the country: the Charco de La Laja. It is also recognized for its exquisite arroz caldoso in the Las Aguas neighborhood, where every weekend it is crowded with people ready to enjoy its gastronomy.

Casa de los Balcones La Orotava

5. La Orotava

For many, La Orotava is the most beautiful municipality in Tenerife, which includes approximately 78 percent of the Teide National Park. Its historic center was declared a Historic Artistic Complex in 1976 thanks to its buildings of great heritage, quite significant in the history of the island. The typical balconies that adorn the facades of its traditional houses, as well as the carpets of flowers, every year gather thousands of visitors.

Calle Mequinez, Puerto de la Cruz. Image by Joanna Gawlica-Giędłek from Pixabay

6. Puerto de la Cruz

Located on the north coast of Tenerife and known for its black sand beaches and home to some of the island's biggest tourist attractions. In addition, it still preserves its historic fishing pier where only small boats arrive. Having a drink in the popular Plaza del Charco or taking a walk through the La Ranilla neighborhood to enjoy its art and gastronomy is a tourist obligation in this coastal town. Puerto de la Cruz has been considered a Place of National Tourist Interest since 1955 due to its long history as a holiday and rest center.

Los pueblos más bonitos de Tenerife, según el periódico ‘Público’

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Canary Islands observatories to broadcast the Perseid rain live on August 12-13

Long-exposure photograph of milky way, meteors, perseids (Via)

On the night of August 12 to 13, at 00:15 hrs, you can watch the Perseids, as the event will be broadcast live from the Teide Observatory and the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory, through the sky-live.tv channel, with the collaboration of the Energy Efficiency Laboratories (EELabs) project, of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) and the Innovation, Projects and Information Society Service of the Cabildo Insular de La Palma.

As every year around this time, the earth passes through the cloud of dust and rocks that Comet Swift-Tuttle has left in its orbits around the sun. As a consequence, from mid-July to the end of August the Perseids, also known as 'Tears of Saint Lawrence', can be seen.

In Europe, the nights of August 11-12 and August 12-13 will have the maximum activity of the meteor shower, with the best times to observe being just after sunset and around midnight, as a waning moon, at 47% of its fullness, will make it difficult to observe at the end of the night. According to Miquel Serra-Ricart, an astronomer at the IAC, "this year the moon will not be a problem for observing the most famous meteor shower of the year".

Los observatorios de Canarias emitirán en directo la lluvia de las Perseidas

Retransmisión EN DIRECTO de la lluvia de las Perseidas

Monday, August 10, 2020

Santa Cruz Carnival 2021 will be outside, in the surroundings of the Plaza de España

Santa Cruz Carnival Stage in the Plaza de España for Carnival 1995. This was the last time the galas took place in the open air, before they were transferred to the Centro Internacional de Ferias y Congresos de Tenerife (The Tenerife International Centre for Trade Fairs and Congresses), which opened the following year.

Councillor for fiestas in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Alfonso Cabello, faces, perhaps, the most critical stage for a celebration of the dimensions of Santa Cruz carnival, where everything is excess, and in times of pandemic, precisely that, excesses, are the only thing to avoid.

It is being made very clear, however, that the city is determined that there will be some sort of carnival in 2021. Cabello says, "I think it is important not only for the fun part, but also for the pride and mood of the city. Nothing has been able to stop the carnival before, not even Franco and I would not like that COVID could." Whilst it's easy to see his point, not everyone agrees and there are many commenters online who think it's sheer madness to hold any sort of carnival at all. My feeling is that a gap of one year would not kill the momentum nor harm carnival, but that a half-hearted carnival could damage its image irrevocably.

Although most of the details are still to be decided, carnival definitely won't be happening in it's usual pre-lenten slot and has been postponed until the second quarter of the year.

A time window of April, May and July has been discussed. June has been ruled out as it would coincide with the exam period. Cabello is in favour of the 2021 carnival taking place in July (which would be into the third quarter, but let's not be pedantic!). July would allow more time to prepare and we might have a better handle on COVID-19 by then.

One decision that has been taken is that the carnival stage is going outside in the area of the Plaza de España - which is what used to happen up to 1995. This would be safer and would allow for a larger capacity than indoors and would also be the best option in the event that there is no carnival in the street, which currently is looking very unlikely.

The idea they are working on is a television format with scenery that will serve for a variety of uses and with a capacity of around 1,200 people (quite a change from the 400,000 that have been known to attend outside carnival events in the city).

Carnival 2021 is more likey to be an exibition. Normally, the Carnival Queen Gala is the last of the contests before carnival goes out onto the streets, but the idea at the moment is for the Carnival Queen event to provide the starting point, with exhibitions to follow.

“What I want to make clear is that there will be Carnival in 2021, there will be a poster, a queen and participation of the groups. We still need to see how and when,” says Cabello.

They hope to start making decisions in September.

Alfonso Cabello (CC): “El Carnaval de 2021 será en el exterior, en el entorno de la Plaza de España”

Friday, August 07, 2020

Recovering and conserving the agricultural biodiversity in the Teno Rural Park

Nispero (loquat) tree in the El Palmar Valley in the Teno Rural Park

The Tenerife Island Corporation (Cabildo) is distributing more than 800 fruit trees of old varieties to farmers in the area of the Parque Rural de Teno (Teno Rural Park) in the north west of the island, among them vines, nisperos (loquat), walnut, many varieties of figs; blancas, negras, brebas, bicariñas, rojas, 'choverde' pears, plums, etc.

These trees, planted in the Park nursery, are then distributed to the residents of the protected area with the aim of recovering and conserving the agricultural biodiversity of the area, promoting the most interesting ancient fruit varieties among the park's farmers, to perpetuate old varieties of fruit which have often already disappeared from the market in favor of other more globalized varieties, ensure the ancestral value of the crops and, in addition, revitalise and enrich the agricultural diversity of the rural park.

The Rural Park is a space that houses an enormous amount of valuable items of scientific, landscape, ethnographic and historical interest. It has important forest masses and a variety of ecosystems of great endemic biodiversity, both animal and plant.

El Cabildo reparte en Teno más de 800 frutales de variedades antiguas

Thursday, August 06, 2020

Fourth Maid of Honour to the Junior Carnival Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2020

Fourth Maid of Honour 2020

Fourth Maid of Honour to the Junior Carnival Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2020 is Daniella Saraith Vilora Abreu with ‘Entre un cocodrilo y un príncipe guapo, me enamoro de un sapo’ (Between a crocodile and a handsome prince, I fall in love with a toad), by Ruymán Pérez Jorge, representing Plus Hogar Tenerife.

Carnival 2021: Carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife has been postponed to the second quarter of 2021 because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The city council will choose the final date in September 2020 and in consensus with the carnival groups. Three options are currently being considered: April, May or July 2021. New dates will be listed here.

Diannella Saraith Vilora Abreu | Gala Reina Infantil | S/C Tenerife 2020

Forth Maid of Honour Daniella Saraith Vilora Abreu

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Tenerife and yellow fever

Cementerio de San Rafael y San Roque Photo: Mataparda / Public domain

In the capital of Tenerife, it was yellow fever or "black vomit" that caused one of the greatest catastrophes in its history when, between 1810 and 1811, a ship from Cádiz spread the disease and left some 1,400 dead, 20 percent of the population, which forced the opening of a new cemetery, that of San Rafael and San Roque.

From the moment of the conquest, Tenerife has faced terrible epidemics that, on the vast majority of occasions, arrived by sea. Santa Cruz and Garachico, a port of great importance between the 16th and 18th centuries, were the gateways to infectious and contagious diseases that repeatedly scourged the island's population. The plague, the typhus epidemic, influenza, smallpox and, of course, the much feared yellow fever, among others, plagued Tenerife in a cruel way on many occasions. The worst of these calamities is that, not infrequently, they were joined by the recurrent droughts and famines produced in the archipelago, which favored the immigration to the capital island of many inhabitants of other islands in search of better fortune. This fact caused the impact of these epidemics to be even worse due to the increase in population density and the unhealthiness of inhabited places due to poverty, as well as the weakness caused by hunger in many people (especially the most vulnerable population: children and the elderly).

Some of the most serious outbreaks in all the Canary Islands, and especially in Tenerife, were those of yellow fever (a term coined by the Welsh cleric and naturalist Griffin Hughes in 1750). Yellow fever has been given more than 150 different names throughout history, the best known being "black vomit", "Siam disease", "Barbados disease" or "American plague". The virus that caused it ended the lives of thousands of Tenerife residents in the successive outbreaks that occurred from the beginning of the 18th century to the 19th.

The impact of yellow fever in Tenerife

According to some historians of medicine and epidemiology, in 1494, the first cases appeared with a clinical presentation similar to that of yellow fever outside Africa ... and where? Well, no more and no less than in the Canary Islands. Obviously, the data from that time are not reliable and, therefore, they must be quarantined (never better said), but it is not surprising - due to the maritime traffic between the islands and the African continent - that this disease could be involved. (Remember that Tenerife had not yet been conquered).

The first contact of our island with yellow fever took place in 1701, being the first place in Europe to suffer the terrible disease. The epidemic was imported from Cuba and the final balance of deaths was truly terrifying, fluctuating between 6,000 and 9,000 throughout the island, which barely exceeded 50,000 inhabitants, that is, the virus killed between 12 and 18% of the total population. Luis Cola reminds us, in his book Santa Cruz, bandera amarilla (1996) that the epidemic coincided with a tremendous famine that afflicted the archipelago, which contributed to the immigration of other islands to it and the crowding of people, a perfect cocktail for the outbreak's greater expansion and demographic impact. Unfortunately for our island, its effects would be further aggravated two years later by an outbreak of epidemic typhus that would cost many lives.

The second epidemic of "black vomiting" occurred seventy years after the first, between 1771 and 1772, coinciding, as in the previous, with a major famine episode. Also this time the outbreak came from Havana, Cuba. Its balance was not as terrifying as the previous one, but it cost 700 dead in Santa Cruz alone, approximately 12% of the people.

Hospital Civil de Nuestra Señora de los Desamparados 1893

The third outbreak occurred between 1810 and 1811 and, for all the island's historians, this was one of the greatest health, demographic and social catastrophes suffered by the Tenerife capital in its more than five centuries of history. Once again, the disease entered the port of Santa Cruz on a ship from Cádiz that arrived on September 11. In the first weeks it caused more than 2,600 patients (more than 85% of the inhabitants) who overwhelmed the hospitals of the capital - the Hospital Civil de Nuestra Señora de los Desamparados (now Museum of Nature and Archeology (MUNA), and the Military Hospital, the Hospice of San Carlos and other places adapted to the function of lazarettos. The number of deceased rose, just in the capital - which had about 3,000 inhabitants at that time because the rest had fled - to more than 1,300 (almost 45% of the population and more than 50% of those affected). So many died that the first cemetery in our city, that of San Rafael and San Roque, had to be built in 1811. The problem, as had happened with other epidemics previously in many places in our country, was the late declaration by the capital's authorities and the very low effectiveness of the preventive measures that were applied. This fact brought about what almost always happened (and still happens, as we have been able to verify so recently) in these cases as we have already commented above: the massive flight of residents to other places on the island and even to other islands, calculating that more than half of the inhabitants of Santa Cruz fled the capital, especially towards San Cristóbal de La Laguna. By the time total isolation was decreed, with controls at La Cuesta, it was too late and, logically, the spread of the disease throughout the rest of the island was almost immediate. Two other places especially castigated by this outbreak were La Orotava and its Port (current Puerto de la Cruz), losing between them, almost 700 people. The epidemic was officially terminated in late January 1811.

The fourth episode on the Tenerife island happened in 1846 - coinciding once again with a time of scarcity and famine throughout the archipelago - and, again, the source of it was a ship from Havana. As almost always, the declaration of an epidemic was made very late by the civil governor. Although its final balance in deaths did not have the demographic impact of the previous ones, causing less than a hundred fatalities, its attack rate was terrifying since it affected to a greater or lesser extent three-quarters of the population in Santa Cruz, that is to say around 7000 people, although with not too many serious cases. This didn't stop major problems ocurring, due to subsequently overwhelming hospitals, quarantine centers and medical care.

After arriving in the port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the frigate "Nivaria" carried out loading and unloading activities. On September 2, after one of the sailors became ill, the entire crew gradually died. A month later, belatedly, the civil governor declared the existence of a yellow fever epidemic that caused 540 deaths on the island. Half the nearly 11 thousand inhabitants that the capital had fled to the interior. In March 1863 the extinction of the epidemic was declared.
The fifth and last encounter Tenerife had with yellow fever occurred between 1862 and 1863 with the arrival of the now famous frigate Nivaria from Havana (Cuba) and Vigo, at the end of August, flying a yellow flag. Given the infected patent status of the ship, it was forced to anchor in the bay to carry out quarantine, but contacts between crew members of the frigate and inhabitants of the city caused the outbreak. Despite the fact that Doctor Vergara Díaz correctly diagnosed the first cases that appeared in Santa Cruz, once again, the declaration of an epidemic was made late (contrary to the opinion of the doctors in the capital who supported Vergara). This, again, motivated the flight of more than half of the inhabitants to other areas of the island, leaving the city with less than 6,000 people and, of course, contributing to the spread of the epidemic for practically all of the insular territory. Hospitals and the lazaretto were reused and the final result was about 2,200 patients, of whom around 550 died, exactly 40% of those infected. The episode ended in March 1863, after more than half a year battling disease.

Tenerife has never had to face this much-feared calamity again.

«Tenerife y la fiebre amarilla» (I)«Tenerife y la fiebre amarilla» (II)«Tenerife y la fiebre amarilla» (III)

Saturday, August 01, 2020

Tenerife Fiestas in August 2020

View to the Basillica in Candelaria, Tenerife

Although 15 August is a national public holiday for Asunción de la Virgen (Assumption), this year it will not to be marked by any of the fiestas in Candelaria, which usually take place on the 14 and 15 of August to celebrate the discovery of the Virgin of Candelaria, the patroness of the Canary Islands. The numbers would be just too great for safety.

The Peregrinación a Candelaria (pilgrimage), walking to Candelaria from various points on the island, often to ask or thank the Virgin for something, would also likely gather large numbers, so the town hall has asked people not to make a pilgrimage this year
"We appeal to the individual responsibility of the people in these festivals so marked and we trust that these measures avoid crowds", indicates the mayor, María Concepción Brito

The insular director of Security of the Cabildo de Tenerife, Cayetano José Silva Hernández, clarifies that the Environment area will temporarily prohibit, from 6:00 p.m. on August 13 to 6:00 p.m. on August 15, transit by road [assume they mean on foot] into the town. 

The popular Fuegos de Alcalá (Alcalá Fireworks), which normally take place each year on August 15th, have previously only been interrupted during the Civil War and World War II.

Also missing from the calendar this August, because of COVID-19, will be the fiestas and Romería of San Roque in Garachico, normally held on 16 August. 

We also cannot imagine seeing the Corazones de Tejina on 24 August. UPDATE: Oh, we will, however, the announcement says that the offering of the emblematic hearts is maintained, on the 23rd, but it will be celebrated in a very different way to avoid crowds.

All that leaves are these few municipal holidays when the shops may close: 

  • 3 August: Festivity of Nuestra Señora de La Esperanza in El Rosario.
  • 6 August: Festivity of El Salvador in La Matanza de Acentejo. 
  • 17 August: Day following the Festivity of San Roque in Garachico.
  • 17 August: Monday of the Fiestas Patronales in La Guancha.
  • 24 August: Festivity of San Bartolomé in Buenavista de Norte.
  • 24 August: Fiestas Patronales in Fasnia.
  • 31 August: Festivity of San Bernardo in Arafo.
  • 31 August: Festividad Nuestra Señora de Buen Viaje in El Tanque.
  • 31 August: Fiestas Patronales in La Victoria de Acentejo.
  • 31 August: Festivity of San Agustín and San Roque in Vilaflor.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Candidate for Carnival Queen in 2020

Melissa Pérez Alfonso

The focus usually is on the winners, but we want to show you all the candidates for the carnival queens in Santa Cruz in 2020, who all deserve recognition for taking part. This candidate is Melissa Pérez Alfonso in a costume entitled, T’Zalah, designed by Caví Lladó Diseñadores and representing Ferretería Prefabricados Araya SL.

Carnival 2021: Carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife has been postponed to the second quarter of 2021 because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The city council will choose the final date in September 2020 and in consensus with the carnival groups. Three options are currently being considered: April, May or July 2021. New dates will be listed here.

Melissa Pérez Alfonso | Gala Reina del Carnaval | S/C Tenerife 2020

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