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Monday, April 27, 2020

Fiestas: collateral damage of the virus

Bajada de la Virgen de El Soccoro in 2018 RelinoticiasTenerife2019 / CC BY-SA

Arona, Granadilla, Guía de Isora, Santiago del Teide and Vilaflor have now cancelled all their festive events throughout the summer; other municipalities are waiting to see what the government dictates

The Covid-19 coronavirus health crisis is leaving and will still leave a dramatic trail of deaths in the world, in Spain and in the Canary Islands. Knowing that there is no date or limit to defeat the bug, its collateral damage will be devastating for our society, for our way of life and for the economy in which we sustain ourselves. We know there will be damage in all economic sectors, with tourism as their epicenter, but there is also a huge damage in the leisure and culture sector, with the suspension of countless events scheduled from now and throughout the summer, of the different festivities in towns and neighborhoods.

In the South, Arona and Granadilla have been the first to suspend all scheduled festivities until the end of August or September. Others are waiting for the evolution of the pandemic and the directives of the state government to make a decision.

Arona Council, along with the party commissions of all the nuclei, announced on Wednesday the suspension of all recreational and leisure activities, at least until the end of September, whatever the evolution of the state of alarm decreed by the State Government. This measure is adopted, both due to the organizational difficulties that such a situation entails, as well as the need to guarantee the health of all citizens as much as possible.

Among the festivities cancelled in Arona are the following: Festivities in honor of Our Lady of Fatima in Valle San Lorenzo and La Sabinita, Divina Pastora in La Camella, Baile de Magos for Día de Canarias (Canary Islands Day in May), Corpus Christi (June), Night of San Juan (23 June), Santa Isabel de Portugal in El Fraile, Nuestra Señora de la Paz in Buzanada (July), Fiestas del Carmen in Las Galletas and Guargacho (July), San Lorenzo Mártir in Valle San Lorenzo, San Casiano in Las Galletas, Santa Teresa de Jornet in Túnez (August), Virgen del Carmen in Los Cristianos, San Francisco de Asís in Palm Mar, Santa Teresita del Niño Jesús in Parque La Reina and the patron saint festivities in honor of Cristo de la Salud in Arona (September).

In Granadilla de Abona, the decision was made to suspend all festive and cultural activities until the end of August, leaving the liturgical celebrations in the hands of the Bishopric. In addition to all the festivals of the different neighborhoods, the XV Ruta Hermano Pedro, scheduled for this month, as well as the Sansofé 2020 summer cultural and leisure festival are cancelled, leaving the Plaza de El Médano in silence all summer.

The same silence will fall in Alcalá and Playa de San Juan this summer, where there will be no fireworks this year, no embarcation nor open air dances. Guía de Isora has also cancelled all festive and cultural events scheduled between now and October, as well as all concerts and mass events. Mayor of Santiago del Teide, Emilio Navarro, has already made the official announcement that the festivities in the municipality are currently suspended until the end of August. The festivities of San Juan and El Carmen, in Puerto Santiago will not go ahead; nor Santiago Apóstol and San Pedro, in the town of Santiago del Teide; Santa Ana, in Tamaimo nor the Fiestas de Candelaria, in Arguayo. In Vilaflor, the highest town in the Canary Islands, the decision has been taken is to suspend all the festivities scheduled for the remainder of the year, almost all of them in summer.

Arico is spending all of it's fiestas budget on on social causes and at present is distributing boxes of basic foodstuffs to around 300 families in the district. They expect this to increase as the crisis advances.


Other southern municipalities have not rushed to cancel events, at least so far, although they are aware that they will have to, in anticipation of government decrees.

Airam Puerta, mayor of Güímar, has already said it is doubtful that there will be festivals of San Pedro this year (June-July) and also fears for the of the popular Bajada de El Socorro (September 7, insular holiday this year).

No suspension measures have been taken in Candelaria yet, with the Fiestas del Carmen and Santa Ana (July) and those of the Patron Saint of the Canary Islands pending, where on the two days, August 14 and 15, almost 200,000 pilgrims usually congregate. Candelaria's mayor, Mari Brito, president of the Federación Canaria de Municipios (FECAM) (Federation of Canary Islands' Municipalities), already knows that the Government of the Canary Islands has advised municipalities to invest the money destined for the fiestas in the social emergency instead.

And in Arafo, the government's decision to announce the suspensions is awaited, while Adeje has cancelled three-quarters of them.

Fiestas: otros daños colaterales del virus