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Many of the carnival, traditional and cultural events we list here are repeated regularly, so why not subscribe to our RSS feed or Subscribe by email to stay up to date with what's on. For more news and events, please like and follow our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Happy 200th Birthday, Leopoldo O'Donnell

Don Leopoldo O'Donnell y Jorris, Count of Lucena, 1st Duke of Tetuan (1809-1867), was Prime Minister of Spain for three separate periods between 1856 and 1866 and fought for Isabela II in the Carlist Wars.

Of Irish ancestry, a descendant of Calvagh O'Donnell, chieftain of Tyrconnel, he was born in Santa Cruz de Tenerife on 12 January 1809.


All events are liable to change beyond our control.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Crown of Kings / Roscón de Reyes

Crown of Kings / Roscón de Reyes
Roscón de Reyes (Crown of Kings) from Pasteleria El Aderno

"So, what's so special about the roscon? Well, there are usually surprises inside the roscon. Traditionally, the baker wraps a porcelain figure of a baby in aluminum foil and a haba or dry bean and places them in the dough just before baking. Whoever finds the baby in their piece will have good luck and be the king of the party, while whoever finds the haba must pay for the roscon. In Spanish, the saying is: “Si es el haba lo encontrado, el Roscon pagaras; mas si ello es la figura, coronado y Rey seras…”, Lisa Sierra explains.

In fact, in all the roscones I'd had from the Pasteleria El Aderno, in Tenerife, you'd find a whole set of three porcelain figures, of the Three Kings.

All events are liable to change beyond our control.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Tenerife's Oldest Three Kings Parade



The commentary on this short video made in Garachico  in 2008, tells you (in Spanish) that the town's Three Kings Parade is the oldest known one celebrated on the island. It's also recognized as the most spectacular and colourful in Tenerife, lasting more than 3 hours, as the procession stops to perform small works of street theatre all along the route to reenact the familiar story.

The Three Kings from the West ...

Starting from the Quinta Roja manor house (built by the Marquis in the early 1600s), set among banana plantations the Three Kings travel through the village of San Pedro de Daute and down into Garachico from the west - the opposite direction from the traditional one - making this something of a novelty too. 

Accompanying the Three Kings  mounted on camels are; pages, Roman soldiers, torch bearers, Roman guards on horseback and standard bearers ...

As they approach the San Miguel castle, which has been converted into Herod's residence for the day, they're spotted by the vigilant guards on the battlements who sound their trumpets.

The Three Kings then dismount and ready themselves to meet with Herod.

Once on their way again, the Three Kings make their procession along the Calle Esteban de Ponte and other streets of the town, to eventually return to the plaza Glorieta de San Francisco, where the live nativity has been set up in front of the Los Angeles church, the town hall has been dressed up as a palace for the kings, with a fancy facade, canopies and three thrones. Even the frontage of the former San Francisco convent has had faux battlements added to it for the day.


These well-rehearsed events follow a similar format every year, with a live reenactment of the entire Christmas story that usually employs a varying number of real live animals (that don't always do what's expected of them) and a cast of, well, several dozen.

The whole show is brought to a climax with a huge firework display, after which the three kings START their job of dishing out gifts to hundreds of kids, as pages call out their names.

The Three Kings start their journey at around 7 p.m., reaching the main town for the meeting with Herod at around 9 p.m. The rest of the procession and show takes at least another couple of hours, so it's a real value for money - especially since it's free - night out for all the family.

Do get there early if you're going by car and want to park anywhere near the town. Another thing Garachico lacks are restaurants that open in the evening where you could while away your time whilst you're waiting for the procession, but the best vantage point is the Cafetería y Dulcería Avenida, opposite the castle anyway. Apart from serving you a drink or a coffee (as well as sandwiches, snacks and cakes), you'll be within sniffing distance of the camels once the Three Kings arrive, as they dismount on that side of the tree-lined island in the road.

The other great advantage to the event in Garachico, is that it's big enough to be spectacular, is done to a high standard and draws a relatively large crowd, but it's still small enough to be intimate, so you feel part of it. There aren't many other places, in Tenerife, or elsewhere, where the kings still arrive authentically on camels (in many places it's on floats); not everywhere has the perfect selection of old architecture for the various locations either, which, along with being the oldest, combines to make Garachico's Three Kings Parade the best on the island, in my humble opinion.

All events are liable to change beyond our control.

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