Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Candlemas (Public Holiday in Tenerife)

Virgen de Candelaria
February 2nd, being Candlemas is a public holiday in Tenerife. Also known as the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin, Candlemas translates to Candelaria in Spanish, which is the name of the town where the Patroness of the Canary Islands - the Virgin of Candelaria (Virgen de Candelaria or Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria) is kept.

There is a program of events for the occasion, in Candelaria, with Eucharist and the blessing of the candles on the eve of the fiesta and mass followed by a civic procession on Tuesday itself.

Tenerife bus company, TITSA, are reinforcing their services by putting on extra buses between Santa Cruz and La Laguna and Candelaria, so that people can attend the fiestas. (They do this for almost every event, unlike the UK, where public transport becomes rarer than rocking horse poo on Bank Holidays!)

The festival of the Virgen de la Candelaria is also celebrated various parts of South America; in Bolivia, Peru, Uruguay, Chile and Venezuela. In Bolivia, the Virgen is also known as the Dark Virgin of the Lake, and the Patroness Of Bolivia. And in San Antonio, Texas in the US, there is an image of the Virgen de Candelaria, probably because that city was founded by people from the Canary Islands.
Booking.com