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Friday, September 18, 2015

Baile de Las Libreas, El Palmar



On the second day (that's the Saturday-week before the 4th Sunday of September, usually - by my calculations therefore, on Saturday, 19th September 2015) of the fiestas of the Virgen de la Consolación (Our Lady of the Consolation) in El Palmar, Buenavista del Norte you should really make the effort, even if just once, to go and see the ancient Baile de Las Libreas (Livery Dance). Having said ancient - it's highly venerated as important - it is actually a very curious satirical piece involving cross dressing, sarcastic gestures and Dusty Bin's Canarian Cousin showering the crowd with fireworks attached to his back. Honestly, unmissable.

And, unless things have changed drastically, from a time way before 'Elf and Safety existed! 

Processing around the village streets to the church square, three male pairs of dancers, half of them dressed as women, dance to the sound of flutes and drums. The dance symbolizes the struggle between good, represented by dancers, and evil, embodied by the figures of the male devil and the female devil. The origin of the dance (and the purifying smoke) was ward off evil spirits to prevent a bad harvest. It finishes as they set light to the fuse setting off the fireworks that are strapped to the back of the devil costumes.

BAILE DE LAS LIBREAS DE EL PALMAR BUENASIATA DEL NORTE


Unlike so many journalists writing about the resorts, Pamela has not only actually been to Tenerife, she lived on the island for 16 years, for the majority of that time in a rural valley immersed in the local culture in a way that few outsiders have been privileged to do and gaining a wealth of knowledge about the island, its people, their customs, fiestas and celebrations that she is now able to share via this site. Fluent in Spanish, she also translated and reported for the various English-language newspapers.

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