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Fiestas of El Palmar Opening Night

Comparsa Las Chicharacas

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.

The carnival-style opening of the fiestas in El Palmar was a hoot, though, it's hard to understand why they put times on the program because they bear absolutely no relation to reality. It's worth bearing in mind that Canarian time does generally work like this. Not that it matters, except that the longer one spends waiting, the more acutely one becomes aware of the complete lack of public toilets! 

Events were slated to begin at 7.30 pm, but actually did some time well after 9 pm. Although the official opening speeches then were mercifully short, it still must have been getting on for 10 pm, when the carnival opening procession even started off on it's rounds of the village streets. It was a little after midnight when the comparsa, the band and the entourage of revellers (mostly men dressed up as women) and one chap, inexplicably (although the lack of bathroom facilities might have been a clue), dressed merely in an adult diaper, finally returned.

Fanfarria del Puerto de la Cruz

Then the party started. Well, no the party had been going on in the streets of El Palmar (both of them) for all that time, but this was when I discovered what is really meant by the carnival concept of "enjoying the good meat, wine and music." The meat - a whole open-backed truck load and probably several animals worth of it - and the wine was free. As much as you like: all you had to do was to raise your hand among the hundreds of others similarly begging.

The fiesta food truck

Chaotic? Just a tad, but entirely friendly. 

On the back of this ancient camion (lorry), which apparently, was still being fixed at 6 pm, was an industrial-sized oil drum grill from which half a dozen people from the fiesta organising committee were handing out family-sized portions of barbecued meat, wrapped in half loaves and sloshing out the "good wine" into plastic cups, at speed of service that McDonalds can only dream about.

After consuming one of these enormous meat sandwiches, my Canarian friend grabbed me by the hand ready to drag me across the square. He wanted to show me this well-known trick of sticking your hand out to get seconds once the truck got round to the other side. Truly, I wouldn't have had room.

If the free food and wine wasn't enough for anyone, there was a stall in the square selling toys, snacks and sweets, plus two bars - one was also selling perros calientes (hot dogs) and papas locas (chips n sauce). Still no toilet though.

The essential fiesta sweets and tat stall being put up.

Tenerife Land of Eternal Christmas

Sunbathing SantaDesert Island ChristmasScuba Diving SantaTropical Santa
Santa's Having a Whale of a TimeSurfing SantaWaterski SantaCamel Rodeo Santa
With a wide range of products in each design, click the pics (above) to see the full selections.