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Festivals in Tenerife and other large gatherings are still not able to be held with social distancing and other restrictions still in force. Events listed here, therefore, are subject to cancellation or change without notice. Such circumstances are beyond our control.

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Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Origin of the Spanish Football Pools

Boletos de La Quiniela JJ Merelo, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Many of us dream that we win the lottery and we can fulfil several dreams at the same time: travel to that special place, buy a little house on the beach, help our family ... This hope is what motivates us to find a couple of coins to buy a ticket, while we wait for the goddess Fortuna to smile on us. You may be lucky and a jackpot will solve some of your problems. But there is another option within the Loterías y Apuestas del Estado (State Lotteries and Gambling), La Quiniela, the favourite way of betting for soccer lovers in Spain.

What is the origin of the Quiniela?

The Quiniela (Spanish Football Pools) is a game of chance and prediction, in which you bet on the results of the main soccer matches in our country (so far, so familiar). 

There is some controversy about the official origin of the Quiniela. Although the public administrations determine that the 46/47 season was the first (dated September 22). Soccer had been rooted in Spain for many years and there were similar bets in many taverns and clubs throughout the national territory. Even so, the first official Quiniela was already quite successful, selling more than 38,000 tickets on the first day. At a cost of 2 pesetas per ticket, almost 80,000 pesetas were collected (about 460 euros today). 9,603 pesetas (€55) were for two first category winners, 7202 (€43) for the only second category winner and 4801 (€29) for another single, third category winner.

In these first years, 45% of the proceeds were used to pay the prizes obtained, another 45% was donated to charities and the remaining 10% covered the administrative and distribution expenses of the Patronage of Mutual Sports-Charity Betting.

It was not until 1948, a couple of seasons later, that the classic 1-X-2 system was implemented; and before it was necessary to hit the exact number of goals for each team. Until today, after more than 70 years in operation, the general rules have not changed much and the traditional 1-X-2 is still used to meet the winners.

How to play La Quiniela

The first thing to note is that, like any bet, the participant must have reached the age of majority to play. From there, you can make pools of practically any sport, but football is the one that is most popular.

Today we find a ticket in which the 15 most important teams at national level are represented. The ten of the First Division and five of the most prominent of the Second Division are included (or nine and six or even eight and seven, depending on the day). You mark the corresponding boxes depending on whether you believe that the home team (1), the visitor (2) will win or they will be tied (X).

The days in which there are international matches, the ticket is completed with the eleven Second Division matches and four between countries: the one played by the Spanish National Team and three others of great importance.

The current prizes of La Quiniela

Unlike what we mentioned previously, today up to 55% of the sales proceeds are allocated to the winners' prizes. There are five categories and a special extra for the player who gets all the 14 matches in a column and the so-called ‘Pleno al 15’.

  • Special category - 14 right plus the full fifteen: 7.5% of the pot *
  • First category - 14 right: 16% of the pot
  • Second category - 13 right: 7.5% of the pot
  • Third category - 12 right: 7.5% of the pot
  • Fourth category - 11 right: 7.5% of the pot
  • Fifth category - 10 right: 9% of the pot

If there were no winners in any of the main categories, that award goes to the next category. If none of them are successful, it accumulates as a jackpot for the following day. The same goes for the special category, which is set aside for the next game if no one hits it.

The highest prizes have a special tax that must be paid to the Treasury, but that only applies to amounts greater than 40,000 euros. This is 20%, the first 40,000 euros of profit being excluded from this tax. For example, if we obtained a prize of €45,000, we would only pay 20% of the 5,000 that exceed the previous figure: €1,000, keeping the remaining €44,000.

Now you know practically everything about La Quiniela, it may be a good time to prepare for the next matches. You can play at your usual kiosk or online (even in English), in addition to playing other games of chance to have fun (responsibly). [NB: I trawled through the rules (PDF) and could not find any mention of whether you can or can't play from abroad.]

Monday, December 06, 2021

Tenerife registered 63% of COVID deaths in the Canary Islands in 2020

In 2019, 15,756 people died in the Canary Islands from causes such as tumours, diseases of the circulatory system or the respiratory system, which are still the main factors of death. A year later, COVID broke into the world and skyrocketed death rates. In the Canary Islands, mortality increased 4.6%, reaching 16,486 people. In Spain alone, statistics show that almost 75,000 people died from  coronavirus, of whom 494 did so in the Canary Islands, either from COVID or suspected of COVID. As expected, the capital islands concentrate the highest number of deaths, but they do not do so in a balanced way. And it is that Tenerife, according to the data analysed by the Canary Institute of Statistics (Istac), registered 63% of these deaths, specifically 315 of those almost 500. In Gran Canaria, the data show that the number of deaths attributable to COVID was 146.

The rest of the Islands are far from these figures: Lanzarote with 14. Fuerteventura (5), La Palma (9), La Gomera (3), and El Hierro (2) complete the official data collected by the Istac according to of the death certificates presented and in which the cause of death is included.

The figures differentiate between deaths from COVID and suspected of having been the cause of death. Thus, within the first figure, 396 people are registered, while in the second the figure is 98. The sum of both gives those 494 deaths from COVID in the Archipelago.

The municipalities that registered the highest number of deaths, in correlation with the total data of the Islands, those of Tenerife are the ones with the highest figures. The list is headed by Santa Cruz de Tenerife with 88 deaths, followed by La Laguna with 61; Puerto de la Cruz (20), Arona (17), Icod de los Vinos (15), La Orotava and Los Realejos (14), and Güímar (12), are the municipalities with the highest number of COVID deaths in Tenerife.

The data from Tenerife shows that the municipalities that were most affected by COVID mortality are concentrated in the north of the island, where, it cannot be forgotten, the oldest population is located. There the mortality registered was 90 people. In the south the figure was 64, while in the metropolitan area, with the municipalities of Santa Cruz, La Laguna, El Rosario and Tegueste, the number of deaths was 161.

The vast majority, 68% of the 494 deaths registered in the Canary Islands from COVID, were over 75 years old. In Tenerife that percentage rises to 70%. Regarding sex, more men died from coronavirus, with 58% of all deaths.

As reported by the Istac, in 2020 16,486 residents of the Canary Islands died, the most common causes of death being tumours (4,615, 28% of the total), diseases of the circulatory system (27.4%), diseases respiratory system (11.7%), nervous system (4.6%), infectious and parasitic (4.5%).

On the other hand, there were 45 deaths s registered in the Canary Islands due to drowning and submersion in swimming pools and natural waters. This represents 10 more deaths than the previous year. By islands, Lanzarote was the one in which the most people died from this cause, with 14, followed by Tenerife with 11 and Gran Canaria with 10.

Sunday, December 05, 2021

37th Canary Islands Regional Crafts Fair

The Tenerife International Centre for Trade Fairs and Congresses hoss,t until December 8, the XXXVII Regional Craft Fair

The president of the Cabildo de Tenerife, Pedro Martín, and the Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce of the Government of the Canary Islands, Yaiza Castilla, inaugurated the thirty-seventh edition of the Regional Handicraft Fair on Saturday, an appointment with the traditions that gathers more than 137 artisans and artisans from all the islands.

The president of the Cabildo de Tenerife, Pedro Martín, recalls that "it is very important to come here today and discover that we are capable of recomposing ourselves, of recovering energy and of launching a new edition, the thirty-seventh of this Canary Islands Handicraft Fair."

The Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce of the Government of the Canary Islands, Yaiza Castilla emphasized that “we hope that thousands of people will attend, among whom are also our tourists who return to walk through our streets, looking for the best gift for their loved ones, a unique, different present, full of Canarian essence for this Christmas."

The Fair will remain open in the large hall of the Fairs and Congress Centre until December 8 and can be visited from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and includes 74 stands on the island of Tenerife and 63 from the rest of the islands. Of them, 58% belong to women.

In addition to the exhibition and sale of products, the Fair is completed with three large exhibitions, the first one is entitled 'From head to toe', and shows the headdresses, hoods and hats as well as the footwear models used in the eight islands since pre-Hispanic times to the present day. An exhibition organized by the Sectorial Council of Traditional Clothing of Tenerife.

The second exhibition is called 'Avant-garde Traditions' and is organized by the Government of the Canary Islands and the Island Councils and will be made up of creations that, using traditional techniques and materials, provide an added value of design and functionality from a rereading of Canarian traditional patterns.

And the third exhibition is made up of the trajectory of eight artisans dedicated a lifetime to the performance of a traditional craft in danger of extinction. Juan Ramírez Pérez is working on Gran Canaria, dedicated to reed and enea basketry; on El Hierro, Andrés Armas León, blacksmith by profession; on La Gomera, weaver and palm basket maker Carmen Rodríguez Vera; on La Palma,  carpenter Pascasio Rodríguez Pérez; for Lanzarote, Eulogio Concepción Perdomo, basket maker; Juana Mª Montelongo, palm basket maker for Fuerteventura and Carmen Concepción Pérez, who has dedicated her life to weaving and Marcelino Reyes, wicker basket basket maker and cane.

From 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., workshops will be held for the visiting public who want to have a first experience with crafts, being able to make a completely finished object of their own. The workshops to be taught will be the following: Footwear Manufacturing, Natural Dyes, Jewelry, Leaded Glass, Paper and Cardboard Modeling. And in the morning and afternoon hours a musical performance will take place every day. 

Friday, December 03, 2021

Los Loros (Arafo) Hillclimb

The XVI Subida Los Loros (16th Los Loros Hillclimb) takes place this weekend with the main events on Saturday, 4 December 2021 in the municipality of Arafo, an event that returns to the calendar after the 2020 parenthesis. 

There are 55 drivers in Speed, highlighting the return of Félix Brito with the Ford Fiesta R5 and the reappearance of Víctor Martín with a spectacular Leon TCR Cupra. In Regular Sport, 11 teams will compete and 14 in Fórmuula Rallye.

"For our municipality it is the most important event," said Jonathan Gutiérrez, Councilor for Sports. "It is an honor to host an event of these characteristics," he stressed, thanking the ProGT Arafo Club for promoting the area's identity. The Los Loros Hillclimb coincides "with the most beautiful ascent towards Mount Teide" he added. 

La Palma, no child without toys

As has been tradition, the ProGT Arafo Club is taking advantage of the celebration of the Los Loros Hillclimb for charitable purposes. This year, on the occasion of the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano, on the island of La Palma, and in collaboration with Obra Social "la Caixa" as partner in this adventure, and with Naviera Armas as logistics operator, there will be a collection of toys that will go to the Isla Bonita. This event will take place on December 3 during the verifications and on the 4th during the event.

Thursday, December 02, 2021

Plenilunio (Full Moon Festival) with 100 activities in Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Almost twenty open and closed spaces will host the twelfth edition of Plenilunio (Full Moon Festival), which will take place on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 December, with about a hundred activities and with the longest hours in its history. On this occasion, the Santa Cruz de Tenerife City Council has worked to offer a program of activities for all audiences that ranges from 11 in the morning to 12 at night on both days, in the urban area from the García Sanabria Park to Francisco La Roche Avenue, and from the Maritime Park to the Almeida barracks.

The program includes some activities such as the Chicharrock Fest, the sustainable urban sociocultural sports festival that will combine sport, music and art and that will be held from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. both days, the concert of Los 40 Sonidos Sostenibles (Sustainable Sounds), which will take place from 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Saturday and that will feature artists such as Ruts and La Isla Music among others, or the Alisios Pop Festival, which will start on Sunday at 5:00 p.m. All these musical activities can be witnessed in the area of ​​the esplanade of Avenida Marítima.

As is usual, this edition will also have a gastronomic space, located in the García Sanabria Park that will be open to the public from 11 in the morning to 12 at night. This area, in which some establishments such as La Esquina de Gamonal, Soko, Aiko Restaurante, Crepería Le Monde and Gourmet Pizza Party are participating, as well as food trucks such as La Pendeja or Frida, will coexist with a fashion market where local designers, boutiques, decoration stores, natural cosmetics, children's fashion, jewellery, beauty and furniture will be present, as well as some varied musical performances that will take place throughout the day.

Circus performances and concerts will take place in the Plaza del Príncipe from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., divided into two sections: the first from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with a focus on the circus world show, and the second in the afternoon, starting at 5:00 p.m., focused on musical programming, which will feature performances by Los Vándalos, Syntagma and Fran Baraja, among others.

There will be activities for the enjoyment and fun of the little ones in the Alameda del Duque de Santa Elena area, which will feature theatrical performances during the two days: Habemus Teatro, Komba Producciones or Timaginas Teatro, are among some of the companies that will present works aimed at a more adult audience. Also in the Plaza de la Candelaria area there will be a children's play area with a Christmas theme and musical and puppet shows aimed at the youngest members of the family.

The Plaza de España will have a traditional market and an area dedicated to Canarian traditions. In it you will be able to witness musical performances of Canarian parrandas, as well as exhibitions of traditional games. Antonio Domínguez Alfonso Street will feature acoustic and classical music performances in the space alongside the Church of La Concepción. These musical activities will go from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The Plaza de San Francisco and the Plaza del Chicharro, places where musical performances will coexist to generate an atmosphere in the restaurant areas, among which stand out the performance of the 'Musician Tribe of Tenerife', the group of musicians and street artists who have come together promoting the cultural movement of the city, and who will be together with other artists promoting the festive atmosphere of the city.

In addition to the open spaces will be delimited areas, with capacity and security limitations, there will also be a series of itinerant performances that will run through various streets in the downtown area of ​​Santa Cruz. Animation activities will be carried out in movement through the main pedestrian streets: Castillo street to Plaza de la Candelaria; Pérez Galdós street - Valentín Sanz street - Castillo street - Plaza de la Candelaria; Imeldo Serís Street (from Pza. Victims of Terrorism) - Valentín Sanz Street - Castillo Street; Francisco La Roche Avenue.

This twelfth edition of Plenilunio Santa Cruz also includes activities in some closed venues that will have their own programming, such as the Casa del Carnaval, the La Recova Art Center, the Market of Our Lady of Africa, the Museum of Nature and Archeology, the Museum Military History of the Canary Islands, Capitanía Palace and the TEA Tenerife Espacio de las Artes. All kinds of activities will take place in all these places, such as workshops, guided tours, concerts, theatrical activities or retrogaming activities.

It should be noted that all venues comply with current regulations against the spread of Covid-19, which is why some areas are delimited and have limited capacity. The information signs, workers and security managers will ensure compliance with the recommendations in order to avoid crowds and that everything runs normally and in compliance with current health regulations.

Un centenar de actos y 16 espacios para el Plenilunio más largo de la historia

Full details and program available at the Plenilunio website

Christmas Solidarity Market La Laguna 2021

Associations and volunteer collectives in the city of La Laguna, coordinated by the La Laguna Solidaria network platform, with the support of the La Laguna City Council, have organized for December 3 and 4, 2021 their traditional Christmas Solidarity Market, in the Plaza del Adelantado.

Hours are from 11am to 8pm on Friday and from 10am to 8pm on Saturday.

A proportion of the funds collected by the participating entities will be to support those affected by the eruption in La Palma, which will be channelled through the Red Cross.

Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Tenerife in December 2021

Teide with snow and Canary Pines

December in 2021 has three public holidays: Monday, 6 December for Día de la Constitución Española (Spanish Constitution Day); Wednesday, 8 December for the Inmaculada Concepción (Immaculate Conception) - plenty of people will connect the two with an extra day on the Tuesday and take a puente (short break) - and, of course, Saturday, 25 December for Natividad del Señor (Christmas Day). This latter is still listed as one of the public holidays and there is no weekday off in lieu, because Saturday still counts as a normal working day in Spain, which still operates a six day working week.

As in previous years, there are no municipal holidays in December.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Carnival Main Parade in Santa Cruz 2016

The Coso Apoteosis del Carnaval Tenerife (Carnival Main Parade) in Santa Cruz de Tenerife is usually held on Shrove Tuesday, which was Tuesday, February 9th, 2016.

Monday, November 29, 2021

The wineries open for San Andrés in Tenerife

Wine tasting, Icod de los Vinos, Tenerife. Photo: Viktor Kirilko Some rights reserved

This Monday, November 29, Tenerife celebrates the eve of the feast of San Andrés (Saint Andrew's Day). And on the eve the wineries open in a traditional festival, that, at least in principle, has nothing to do with wine. We know that he's the Patron Saint of Scotland, land of whiskey, whose flag, it shares with Tenerife.

Correr los Cacharro (Run the Pots) on the eve of San Andrés: Part of the festivities in honor of San Andrés held in the La Orotava Valley and other towns in the north of the island of Tenerife, but mainly in Icod de los Vinos and Puerto de la Cruz, children and young people, after spending days collecting scrap (cans, even appliances, bathtubs, scrap metal and any old object that makes noise) string them up and at nightfall on November 29, go out to the streets, and make as much noise as possible. This festival is closely related to the opening of the wineries, and it is traditional to accompany the new wine with roasted chestnuts and sardines or other salty fish.

The real origin of this practice is lost in time and most explanations are the fruit of legend. It is said that the object of running pots was to make noise to drive away plagues of locusts, or witches; also that since San Andrés was lame, he arrived "drunk" and loaded with pots days late to his party; or that San Andrés fell asleep and had to be awakened by the noise of the pots ... But the one that has the most weight and reported by researchers is that on the eve of the day of San Andrés, the owners of the wineries, in order to be able to bring in the new wine, would go down to the coast to clean the barrels with salt water, and the noise of the barrels on the cobbled streets as they were rolled down the slopes to the seashore, is the characteristic noise that the children later reproduce with their cacharros.

This festival was most popular at the end of the 70s and in the 80s, but had been lost in many towns, although some neighbourhood associations, with the support of city councils are trying to preserve it. Currently the Ministry of Education of the Canary Islands, offers information about these festivals to that those who wish to celebrate it. They carry out this activity in many schools throughout the island of Tenerife, with the students going out into the streets and encouraging the residents to participate in such an unique event.

In Puerto de la Cruz, the fiesta focus is in the Plaza del Charco, where you can also taste delicious roasted chestnuts with salted fish, sweet potatoes and 'new wine that makes you forget the night cold'.

Tablas de San Andrés are back in the streets of Icod and La Guancha, with limitations

Arrastre de las tablas in Icod de los Vinos Photo: Revista BienMeSabe Some rights reserved

Tradition accompanied by regulations that guarantee health safety, such as the prohibition of installing kiosks and barbecue pits on public roads

Gone is 2020, the year in which Icod de los Vinos and La Guancha were unable to celebrate one of the most anticipated festivalsLas Tablas de San Andrés - the dragging of the boards down the steep streets of the municipalities where San Andrés and the opening of the wineries is a tradition that remains alive and that congregates hundreds of people every year, thousands in the City of the Drago. With the exception of San Juan de la Rambla, which decided not to authorize it again as a precaution due to the increase in cases of COVID-19, the other two municipalities in the region have opted to recover this festival. 

In the Icod it will only be enjoyed on November 29 and 30, on the eve and festivity of the saint, while in La Guancha it will last four days, with a festival of wines and tapas in the Plaza de la Iglesia, with limited capacity and in which a large representation of wineries from the Ycoden Daute Isora and Canary Islands will participate.

In specific roads, such as El Plano, preferred by the youngest due to its steep slope, limited capacity will be established, which will ensure social distancing and the mandatory use of masks, controlled by the members of the Local Police, Civil Protection and private security, confirms the mayor. Los Franceses, San Sebastián and El Sol streets also have their specific plans with a series of specific measures and in all of them the side prohibits the installation of barbecue pits and hot dog stands and the sale of chestnuts and new wine with music in the streets. "This year what is necessary is to defend tradition, so we ask that the consumption of traditional products of our gastronomy be done within bars and restaurants and not in the spontaneous way as in the past", emphasizes the president.

Francis González is not afraid that the situation will get out of control. Until Wednesday there were only seven active cases in the municipality. Even so, he asks for prudence and that the sanitary norms and the criteria established are met.

In La Guancha, a score of streets will be closed to traffic in the old town (La Palmita, El Agua, El Sol, La Caldera, Los Alfareros, La Hoya de Arcos, Las Colmenitas, El Pinalete, San Antonio, Lanzarote, Icod de los Vinos y El Risco), Santo Domingo (La Mayorina, San Felipe and Las Sabinas) and in Santa Catalina (Cañada Baja and Paseo El Parque).

This year residents will be able to shout, louder than ever: “Viva San Andrés”.

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