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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Fiestas in Candelaria

La Virgen de Candelaria

August 15th, is the fiesta in honour of Nuestra Señora de Candelaria, the patron of the Canary Islands and these fiestas are possibly the most important fiestas in the Canary Islands. The fiesta which commemorates the first appearance of the virgin to the Guanche aborigines which occurred in the town of Candelaria is held in August every year and attracts thousands of visitors from all over the archipelago, many of whom walk to Candelaria as a form of pilgrimage to thank the virgin for the favours she has granted.

In fact, the party has been going on all weekend. British R&B star, Craig David, came, was seen and conquered the audience at the Eleventh Festival de Candelaria at the Candelaria football stadium on Saturday. (Yes, very "Canarian", we wondered too. Craig David has a notable following here and has influenced Canarian artists, such as Tony Santos.)

Sunday was sports day with Lucha Canaria (Canarian wrestling) and yesterday was the popular Romeria (think procession, street party and local costume), which each year includes a reenactment of the apparition of the Icon to the Guanches. August 15th is the day when the floral offering is made to the virgin and is a public holiday in the whole of Tenerife. Local authorities were expecting a turn out of 250,000 for the total of the various events this year, with more than a hundred thousand expected for yesterday's Romeria alone.

Image: CARLOS TEIXIDOR CADENAS [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons