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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Fiestas of San Antonio Abad in Los Silos, January 23rd

San Antonio Abad 2008 - Los Silos

Here’s a question for you … When is the 3rd Sunday in January held on the 4th Sunday in January? Give up? OK, I’ll tell you: it’s when it’s in Tenerife, of course!

As anyone who has ever lived in Tenerife will tell you, organizing proverbial piss-ups in breweries is not one of the culture’s strong points and getting information prior to events taking place is often somewhat akin to getting blood out of a stone.

And even when you do have the information in advance (from official sources, no less), there’s absolutely no guarantee that it’s going to be correct.

Case in point: The Fiestas in honour of San Antonio Abad in Los Silos.

This will also give you some idea of the frustration that fools like me and those lovely folk over at Tenerife Magazine have to suffer and the sort of “detective work” we have to undertake in order to inform you of some of the island’s cultural events. Events we imagine that locals would love you to be able to enjoy too.

According to the Tourist Board (who ought to know), the San Antonio Abad fiestas in Los Realejos and Buenavista del Norte were supposedly taking place last week, January 16th. Also according to the same tourist board info, the San Antonio fiestas were to be taking place in Arona, next week, January 30th.

Well, the Arona festivities took place last week, as did those in Los Realejos and Buenavista’s always (with the proviso that it could be changed) take place the week after those in Los Silos (I know they were never the same week, because I used to go to both Los Silos’ and Buenavista’s and never managed to be in two places at once) – which according to Los Silos Town Hall (who again, you’d imagine have a clue) – takes place on the 3rd Sunday in January each year, which according to the calendars I’m consulting, meant last week.

Only it doesn’t. Why should it? T.I.T. = This is Tenerife, after all!

Reading a report today in 20minutos, we learn that the Livestock Fair and Arts & Crafts Fair in honour of San Antonio Abad in Los Silos – along with the procession, blessing, etc. - celebrates it’s 263rd Anniversary this weekend, according to a press release from the Los Silos town hall.

Yes, the same town hall that says it’s always the 3rd Sunday … To be fair, their calendar does also say that the fiesta is this weekend (despite what it’s other page says.)

We thought that a 263rd Anniversary was a funny one to make a “newsworthy” press release from too, but to mention that would seem like we’re really splitting hairs! :)

Then we go on to read that even the 263 is a bit tentative ...

According to a local historian the first religious icon of San Antonio Abad arrived in Los Silos on August 4th, 1748 (2011 – 1748 = 263 and, yes I did check the maths. Can you blame me?) Although, the report continues, there’s no documented source in that respect, it is logical [Ed: logic, in Tenerife?] to think that the image arrived in the cited year, in order that it could go out in the procession the following year. Right. The actual first documented report to that effect, actually, isn’t until 1906.

Those anecdotes notwithstanding, the release goes on to detail the events of this year’s fiesta, which begins today at 8 pm with the inauguration of a photographic exhibition and a folk festival in the patio of the former convent of San Sebastián.

Tomorrow, January 23rd, at 10 am, the Arts & Crafts Fair will be open in the Plaza de la Luz,  the patio of the former convent of San Sebastián and surrounding streets.

Meanwhile, the Livestock Fair will assemble 400 head of cattle, sheep, goats and horses in the Fairs Enclosure (waste ground) behind the cited ex-convent.
Mass will be held at mid-day, after which will be the procession of the icon, followed by all the livestock and pets, which will subsequently be blessed by the clergy.

The Arts & Crafts Fair is lovely and it all makes a great day out.
In case you were as confused as us, just to recap:

* Thereby hangs another amusing tale … Back in 1992, the year I moved to Tenerife, I had to commute backwards and forwards between the island and the UK several times before I finally made the move permanently. On each and every one of the flights I took, the movie being shown was Groundhog Day.

Repeats of the repeat of …

All events are liable to change beyond our control.

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