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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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Friday, June 22, 2007

Tenerife: Midsummer weekend starts here

Summer Solstice or Midsummer

This weekend being Summer Solstice or Midsummer, means there's plenty going on once again though and, this is just a tiny sampling of the offerings.

For starters, at the disputed and contentious, but nevertheless terribly fascinating Pyramids of Güímar, on 21 June, the day of the summer solstice, one can see a double sunset from the platform of the largest pyramid, an event that draws the crowds (numbers limited).

Fiestas de San Juan or Midsummer Madness

On 23 June, head to the Playa Jardín in Puerto de la Cruz for the Noche de San Juan - the annual Saint John the Baptist Bonfire Night Extravaganza - which has to be one of Tenerife's most curious fiestas (well, apart from all the other curious ones, that is) and sounds more like a night out for a hippie convention, rather than something for whole families.

The revelries actually start quite gently on June 22nd with the Tradicional enrame de chorros públicos: decorating the public drinking water fountains with flowers and fruit.

The Official Website of Tenerife Tourism Corporation tells us that,
"A great many towns and villages in Tenerife celebrate the arrival of the summer solstice on the night of San Juan (Saint John) with traditional bonfires."
They briefly explain the various traditions in San Juan de la Rambla, Garachico, Icod de los Vinos and Puerto de la Cruz. The latter also includes flowers, candles, massed beach barbies, music, fireworks, midnight dipping and, of course, great quantities of free-flowing wine.

By far the best account of the festivities of June 23rd and 24th, in English too, is Jack Montgomery's article, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, from which unwitting travellers might awake wondering what they'd been on the night before to see, "In the harbours’ calm waters, amongst the resident fleet of quaint, gently bobbing fishing boats are scores of, not so gently bobbing, goats."

This is known as El baño de las cabras (goat dipping) and, I bet it does help to get rid of the parasites. Officially, this begins at the Muelle pesquero (Old fishing port) in Puerto de la Cruz from 8 a.m. and carries on until around midday when, "The whole fascinating spectacle is rounded off with the romantic imagery of caballeros riding their proud steeds into the sea in a display of equine formation bathing."

Summer Musical Diversions

The III Festival Santa Blues de Tenerife began on June 8th with Buddy Guy and runs through to the 29th. North American guitarist, Albert Cummings, who will play a free concert in Santa Cruz' Calle La Noria tonight, played the Auditorio de Tenerife, last night.

This week, on Saturday, June 23rd, Puerto Rican rapper and Latin superstar, Tego Calderón, plays the Pabellón Municipal de Los Majuelos in La Laguna. CanaryReggaeton.com say that Calderón's first live concert on the island is the most awaited by the Canarian public in the last five years.

For those with a more classical taste, the Second Edition of the "Musical Caprices of Isla Baja" a total of twenty-one concerts of vocal and instrumental music, which will be held every weekend between the months of March and July in a variety of locations of singular beauty,- mainly old monasteries and convents-, and in the main squares of the boroughs of Los Silos, Garachico, Buenavista del Norte and El Tanque is still in progress. Attendance at all the concerts is FREE OF CHARGE.


Sunday Afternoon at the Movies

If cinema is more your style, pop along to El Museo de la Ciencia y el Cosmos (the Museum of Science and the Cosmos) in La Laguna, where they're showing Sci-Fi films and having chats afterwards about them.

Last week they showed the 2000 film, Frequency, starring Jim Caviezel and Dennis Quaid, which, if the list of goofs is anything to go by, would have given them much to discuss - despite which it is a ripping yarn.

The "news" about this round of films, Ciclo Alucine is that "all the projections are in large screen and in the original version (meaning, mostly English) with subtitles in Spanish."

On June 24th, the museum are showing the Mel Gibson directed film, Apocalypto. Showtime, 4 p.m.

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