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Day of Traditions in El Palmar

Kids having fun riding the boards as the threshing is done

First published in 2007, with fiestas finally making a comeback after two years without, due to the pandemic, it seemed an ideal time to revive this and give a new audience an insider's view of these delightful events. Being traditional in nature, it's doubtful there'll be much change in the intervening fifteen years and, most towns and villages have similar fiestas, with a similar program.

Sunday's Day of Traditions or Día de la Trilla (Threshing Day) - held on the last Sunday in September - was the climax of 10 days of fiestas in El Palmar

This day is a demonstration of many rural processes that look entirely historical, but are from living memory for some locals, if not still in continued use. There's making of charcoal for fuel; exhibitions of farming implements and the threshing done the old way using horses and teams of oxen. There were horse rides and riding on the threshing boards for the kids and a lot of free food and wine for the grown ups, with music and dancing for the rest of the afternoon.

Building of the Carbonera - that smoking heap of charcoal producing earth and foliage - typically took, by my count, 10 blokes to do so, six of whom were merely "observers". The bit you don't see was that it also required an entire bottle of local wine shared between the workers, poured from a recycled whiskey bottle!

Building of the Carbonera

Oxen doing threshing at the Fiestas de El Palmar in Tenerife

Old farming implements on a pivi

Ox drivers start young

There is such thing as a free lunch

Afternoon knees up

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