Hola From Tenerife

Subscribe to our free newsletter to get an (ir)regular ray of Tenerife sunshine in your inbox. Just enter your email address below.

Delivered by FeedBurner



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.

Please follow our facebook page for more updates >>

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Uniting Buddhism & Catholicism in La Orotava

Buddhist monks on the steps of the Town Hall in La Orotava

In La Orotava in Tenerife, it has been the custom, every year since 1847, to make sand carpets as part of the celebrations for the Catholic feast of Corpus Cristi. Such sandpainting is also traditionally practiced by, among others, Tibetan monks.

This is certainly an historical first: Buddhist monks from the south of India are making a mandala, dedicated to compassion, in the plaza in front of the town hall in Orotava. This is where the main sand carpet is made each year.

This year, for the very first time, the local alfombristas (carpet makers) are leaving space to include other similar works. And, since yesterday, the five Buddhist monks, most of whom are from a monastery in the south of India, have been making one of their characteristic mandalas in one of the corners of the plaza. The idea is of sandpainting as a symbol of the union of cultures. The delegation, headed by the director of the Casa del Tibet in Barcelona, Thubten Wangchen, was invited to participate in this international meeting of ephemeral art by the La Orotava town hall.

The presence of the Tibetan monks in La Orotava yesterday caused much expectation. As a sacred art - mandalas have a spiritual value - the monks perform a ritual before commencing work. The Mandala, which is Sanskrit for circle, polygon, community and connection, uses many colours, which represents a positive energy to develop the heart. And, although there are many types of mandala, Wangchen said that they chose compassion, because "it is a value we need a lot of in the world at the moment."

The monks will take between three and five days to complete the mandala, a circular composition utilizing six main colours in various tones and which is being made on the floor over a wooden support. The fact that they do not - as the local sand carpet makers do - paint directly onto the pavement, is a matter of purity and respect for the sacred art.

Also, the mandala will not be destroyed by the Corpus Cristi procession next Thursday, as the local sand and flower carpets are. Once finished, the sand from a mandala is brushed together and is usually placed in a body of running water - such as a river or the sea - to spread the blessings of the Mandala. Saying that they are very content to be here, Thubten Wangchen emphasized that, "We are going to spiritually unite two cultures."

No comments:

Tenerife Topics

Adeje Almond Flower Route April in Tenerife Arafo Arico Arona Auditorio de Tenerife August in Tenerife Buenavista del Norte Canarian Cuisine Canaries Day Candelaria Carnival 1987 Carnival 1994 Carnival 1995 Carnival 2004 Carnival 2005 Carnival 2006 Carnival 2007 Carnival 2008 Carnival 2009 Carnival 2010 Carnival 2011 Carnival 2012 Carnival 2013 Carnival 2014 Carnival 2015 Carnival 2016 Carnival 2017 Carnival 2018 Carnival 2019 Carnival 2020 Carnival 2021 Carnival 2022 Carnival Queen Santa Cruz Carnivals of the World Christmas in Tenerife Christopher Columbus Comparsas Corpus Christi COVID-19 Craft Fairs December in Tenerife Easter in Tenerife El Rosario El Sauzal El Tanque Epidemics in Tenerife Farmers Markets Fasnia February in Tenerife Fiestas El Palmar Garachico Granadilla de Abona Guía de Isora Güímar History of Carnival Icod de los Vinos Innocent Saints January in Tenerife July in Tenerife June in Tenerife Junior Carnival Queen La Guancha La Matanza de Acentejo La Orotava La Victoria Las Burras de Güímar Los Cristianos Los Cristianos Carnival Los Gigantes Los Gigantes Carnival Los Indianos Los Realejos Los Reyes Los Silos March in Tenerife May in Tenerife Municipal Holidays Municipalities Fiestas Nelson's Attack on Santa Cruz 25 Jul 1797 November in Tenerife October in Tenerife Public Holidays Puerto de la Cruz Puerto de la Cruz Carnival Romerías San Antonio Abad San Cristóbal de La Laguna San Juan de la Rambla San Miguel de Abona Santa Cruz de Tenerife Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival Themes Santa Úrsula Santiago del Teide Senior Carnival Queen September in Tenerife Simón Bolívar Tacoronte Tegueste Tenerife Carnival Dates Tenerife Disaster Tenerife Fire Tenerife Month by Month Tenerife Museums tenerife prostitution sex escorts Tenerife Rally Tenerife Weather Tenerife Wines Teno Rural Park This Is Tenerife (TIT) Traditional Fiestas Tropical Storm Delta Vilaflor