Saturday, August 06, 2005

Candelaria Expects 200,000 Pilgrims

Basilica de Candelaria, Tenerife during the fiestas de Candelaria

The town of Candelaria expects around 200,000 visitors on August 14th and 15th, principle days of the celebrations in honour of the Virgen de Candelaria - Black Madonna - patron of the Canary Islands.

Thousands of pilgrims - and tourists - will desend upon the small town on the south west of Tenerife during the next few days. As well as the traditional romeria festival and the offering to the Virgin (this year to be held on the Sunday afternoon of the 14th, instead of it's usual date of the 15th) there are various acts planned beginning with a concert by Los Sabandeños, the Canary Islands most famous folk group, on Saturday, Aug 6 at 22:00.

On Sunday, August 7, at 11:30 there is an exhibition of native sports in the square. Various other folk groups, concerts, song and piano recitals take place throughout the week.

Want more local sport? No problem. From 19:30 on Saturday, August 13, there is Lucha Canaria, Canarian wrestling, to watch.

Sunday, August 14, has the main events of the romeria (traditional style folk festival) and the offering to the Virgin; a procession with representatives from all over the archipelago. After this will be the reenactment of the guanches discovering the icon, then from 22:00 until 06:00 the plaza in Candelaria will be filled with music.

Those wanting to make the traditional pilgrimage on foot are reminded that it is prohibited to walk along the hard shoulder of the motorway and, if you are coming down the mountain roads, be particularly aware of the high fire risks at this time of year.

The TITSA bus company are laying on free buses that will bring walkers between Santa María del Mar and Barranco Grande.