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COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

Even with the start of the 'new normality' on 21 June 2020, popular fiestas and most large gatherings and events are still prohibited and social distancing guidelines still in force. Dates listed on this site, therefore, are still subject to cancellation or change and we will update, where we can, when any new information is made available.

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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Second Matron of Honour to the Senior Carnival Queen Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2020

Second Matron of Honour: Josefa Herrero Hernández

Second Matron of Honour to the Senior Carnival Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2020 was Josefa Herrero Hernández, with Gloria al Cielo (Glory to Heaven) designed by Alexis González and representing Floristería Maxiflor and Calzados Febles Tacoronte.

There will be no Carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2021, although the City Council is working with the Carnival groups in the design of some activities that can maintain the spirit of the festivities during the weeks in which it should have been celebrated



Josefa Herrero Hernández | Gala de la Elección de la Reina | S/C Tenerife 2020

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Tenerife's Public Holidays for 2021

2021

These dates are still to be have now been confirmed by the Canarian Government, so the calendar of public holidays in Tenerife in 2021 will be as follows: 

  • 1 January – (Año Nuevo/New Year’s Day)
  • 6 January – (Epifanía del Señor/Epiphany)
  • 2 February – (Tenerife’s own day to honour patron, Virgen de la Candelaria)
  • 1 April – (Jueves Santo/Maundy Thursday)
  • 2 April – (Viernes Santo/Good Friday)
  • 1 May – (Fiesta del Trabajo/Workers’ Day)
  • 16 August – (Asunción de la Virgen/Assumption) 
  • 12 October – (Fiesta Nacional de España/Spain Day)
  • 1 November – (Todos los Santos/All Saints Day)
  • 6 December – (Día de la Constitución Española/Spanish Constitution Day)
  • 8 December – (Inmaculada Concepción/Immaculate Conception)
  • 25 December – (Natividad del Señor/Christmas Day)

The calendar of holidays for 2021 does not include May 30, Canary Islands Day, the commemoration day of the Autonomous Community, as it falls on a Sunday.

There’s a legal right to days off on public holidays in Spain (there's no such right in Britain), however, you should note that the official working week in Spain consists of 6 days, Monday to Saturday, inclusive. To make up the 14 days public holidays decreed by law, two additional days are added specific to each municipal council area (to be advised).

Monday, September 28, 2020

Tourism allocates 11.2 million euros in 2020 to support the sector and to stimulate demand

Tourist infrastructure in Tenerife

The Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce has allocated a total of 11.2 million euros in 2020 to support the sector and to stimulate tourism demand. Minister of Tourism, Yaiza Castilla, announced Friday in the Parliamentary Commission, that tourist accommodation will have 4.5 million euros before the end of the year in direct subsidies for the adaptation of tourist spaces to the required protocols due to the health situation, also incorporating environmental sustainability and digitization criteria.

Another of the main lines of support is the Laboratory of Tourism Protocols, "a project to address health security issues related to the tourism sector, as well as tourism sustainability in the Canary Islands”, highlighted Castilla, who stated that in 2020 it has a budget of 1.1 million euros. Madrid and the Canary Islands will participate in the system of co-financing with the State and local entities, councils and city councils with 3 million euros for 2020.

Castilla also referred to the Tourism Infrastructure Program with which Tourism will promote lines of support for investments in the tourism sector in local administrations. On September 30, the department will issue a request for this year for 1,600,000 euros.

The Minister of Tourism concluded her intervention by noting that “the Council is about supporting investments aimed at adapting tourist spaces to environmental sustainability, digitization, accessibility, through direct support to local administrations. 


[NB: Bright folk and ex-accountants like me will notice that this only adds up to 10.2 million.]

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Research involving Canarian scientists discovers genetic causes of severe COVID-19

Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

Two articles are published in the prestigious international journal Science, with the participation of professionals from the Dr. Negrín University Hospital of Gran Canaria and the Hospital de La Candelaria, in Tenerife.

More than 10 percent of patients who develop severe COVID-19, some of them young and previously healthy, have "wrong" antibodies that attack the immune system itself, and at least another 3.5% are carriers of genetic mutations that affect to the immune response. In both groups, the result is basically the same: the patients present a defect in immunity mediated by type I interferons, a group of 17 proteins crucial for the protection of our cells against viral infections.

This is one of the main conclusions of two articles published in the prestigious international journal Science, with the participation of professionals from the Hospital Universitario de Gran Canaria Dr. Negrín and the Research Unit of the Hospital Universitario Nuestra Señora de Candelaria, Tenerife. attached to the Ministry of Health of the Government of the Canary Islands.

These findings help explain why some individuals develop an infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, much more severe than others of the same age (including, for example, individuals between 20 and 30 years previously who require admission to Intensive Care Units). These findings also help to understand for the first time the molecular bases that would explain the reason why mortality is higher in men than in women.

These results are the first obtained by researchers from the international COVID Human Genetic Effort consortium, a project co-directed by Jean Laurent Casanova, from Rockefeller University in New York and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, and Helen Su, from the Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the USA, in which around 50 Sequencing Centers participate.

These 50 centers include the Canarian Health Service, coordinated by Carlos Rodríguez Gallego (head of the Immunology service at the Dr. Negrín University Hospital of Gran Canaria), in collaboration with Carlos Flores (Research Unit of the Hospital Nuestra Señora de Candelaria and the Technological and Renewable Energies Institute of the Tenerife Island Council) and Rebeca Pérez de Diego (La Paz University Hospital Research Institute). In addition, hundreds of researchers from many countries have participated in the collection of samples and clinical data, including the Dr. Negrín University Hospital of Gran Canaria, the Maternal-Infant-Insular Hospital Complex of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, and the Health Center de Schamann and the Guanarteme Health Center, both located in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

"The results obtained will probably have repercussions on the management and treatment of patients with these alterations, since they allow the identification of people at risk of suffering a serious infection and open the way to adapt treatments to patients based on the genetic or molecular defect detected, an example of personalized and precision medicine ”, explains Carlos Rodríguez-Gallego, coordinator of the Spanish Registry of Primary Immunodeficiencies.

Risk factors

Since the beginning of the pandemic it has been an enigma why the virus can cause an even asymptomatic infection in some individuals, while in others it causes a serious, even fatal, infection within a few days. It is known that age, sex and the existence of some previous pathologies or immunosuppression are risk factors for severe COVID-19. However, there are young, previously healthy individuals who develop a serious infection.

"The study of the complete exome with massive sequencing techniques has made it possible to greatly speed up the identification of the genetic causes that explain the severity of these patients, hence it is increasingly considered as a diagnostic aid in many medical fields," he explains. Carlos Flores.

In fact, "in recent years, research in the field of immunodeficiencies has shown that unusual susceptibility to certain infections is due to genetic mutations that affect the immune response", comment Carlos Rodríguez-Gallego and Rebeca Pérez de Diego . Some previous studies, carried out by Carlos Rodríguez-Gallego, collaborating with Canarian researchers and doctors, have allowed the identification of some of these innate errors of immunity in Canarian patients.

Collection of samples

In order to identify these genetic defects in patients with severe COVID-19, the consortium collected samples from patients around the world to study whether there could be any genetic basis that could explain the differences in severity produced by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. In a first study, researchers analyzed more than 650 samples from patients hospitalized with severe pneumonia who required admission to the ICU (14% of whom had died) and samples from 530 individuals who had an asymptomatic or mild infection were also analyzed.

In this study, 13 genes that are known to be critical for defense against influenza virus and govern immunity mediated by type I interferons were analyzed in both groups of patients. Type I interferons are part of innate immunity and intrinsic, the components of the immune system that act immediately to fight and stop infection before acquired or adaptive immunity begins to develop its defense effector mechanisms, such as the production of antibodies, which take several days to develop. Type I interferons are molecules from the group of cytokines produced by various types of cells, especially cells of the immune system, within a few hours after a viral infection. Secreted interferons are recognized by receptors found in practically all cell types in our body and trigger a powerful activity against the virus.

Vulnerability to the virus

After the genetic studies carried out in the Sequencing Centers, it soon began to be seen that there were critically ill patients who had rare variants in these 13 genes and more than 3% of critically ill patients had mutations that profoundly affected some of the genes studied. Subsequent experiments showed that the immune cells of these patients did not produce type I interferons in response to SARS-CoV-2. Studies carried out at Rockefeller University also showed that human cells carrying these mutations were more vulnerable to the virus and died in greater numbers and more rapidly than cells without these mutations. Some of these patients could benefit from treatment with type I interferons, currently used in some viral infections.

At least three types of infectious diseases are known which, in addition to being caused by mutations that affect certain proteins involved in immunity against these microorganisms, can also be the consequence of the existence of antibodies produced "erroneously" (auto-antibodies) versus those proteins. The consortium also studied whether a similar scenario could occur that predisposes to infection by SARS-CoV-2.

Study of 987 patients

987 patients with severe SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia were studied and it was found that more than 10% of the patients had autoantibodies that bound and neutralized the activity of type I interferons. In some cases, these autoantibodies were found already present in patient sera obtained before the patients were infected by SARS-CoV-2; in other patients, these autoantibodies were detected in samples obtained at the beginning of the infection, before, in case of being triggered by the virus, the immune system could develop the production of these antibodies. However, these autoantibodies were not detected in 663 individuals with mild or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection. When analyzing samples from 1,227 healthy individuals, obtained before the COVID-19 pandemic, four individuals (one in 300) had these autoantibodies.

"The data obtained indicate that these autoantibodies are the cause of the serious infection and not a consequence of the infection," explains Carlos Rodríguez-Gallego. "The fact that the majority of patients with severe COVID-19 with these autoantibodies are male (95%) indicates that their production could be related to sex," says Carlos Flores. "Patients with these autoantibodies could benefit from treatments aimed at their elimination or from treatments with type I interferons against which the patient does not have autoantibodies", explains Carlos Rodríguez-Gallego. The consortium continues to investigate other genetic variations that help identify and explain the variability in severity of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Santa Cruz de Tenerife announces more controls to minimize the pandemic

View over the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife Photograph by Mike Peel (www.mikepeel.net). / CC BY-SA

The mayor of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, José Manuel Bermúdez, has announced more controls in the streets to minimize the incidence of the coronavirus and has appealed to citizen responsibility so residents "exercise extreme precautions." 

On Friday, the Canary Islands Government activated the so-called 'red traffic light' level alert for the entire island because it has exceeded the figure of 100 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. Tenerife and Gran Canaria face fresh restrictions from today, Saturday, for at least 15 days, La Gomera for up to 15 days, and Fuerteventura for a week.

Specifically, gatherings of more than 10 people and mass events are forbidden (scheduled public cultural activity is excepted); a closing time is 00.00 hours, with no new clients accepted from 23.00 hours, for the hotel, restaurant and terrace establishments, and in beach bars and restaurants. Non-occupational day centers will be closed.

MORE THAN 500 SANCTIONS IN THE CITY DURING THE LAST MONTH

Local Police has filed more than 500 sanctions in the last month for non-compliance with current health regulations.

"We cannot leave all the weight of control in the hands of our agents, who have been making a great effort for months to help control infections," said the mayor, adding that "as the City Council we will continue to increase control but they will be of no use all the efforts of public workers if the public is not aware of what we are at stake. "

AN UNEMPLOYMENT RATE GREATER THAN 25%

The mayor has reported that Santa Cruz de Tenerife already has an unemployment rate of over 25% and emergency aid has doubled compared to the previous year. "It is everyone's responsibility that these figures do not continue to increase," he added, "and it is vitally important that we abide by the rules imposed and that we take extreme precautions."

Bermúdez recalled that a social and economic recovery forum will be set up for debate and proposals so that all social agents and political parties contribute to the return to socioeconomic normality in the municipality, "but that effort of dialogue and seeking consensus may be of no use if infections continue to increase in the city. "

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Finalist for Carnival Queen in 2020

Ana Benavides Castilla

In 2020 there were sixteen candidates for the title of Carnival Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife and, effectively, eight were eliminated and eight finalists were brought back on stage, amongst whom were the queen and her four maids of honour. This was the first time, to my knowledge, that it was done in this manner. This is one of the remaining three finalists, Ana Benavides Castilla in a costume entitled, Me siento bien (I feel good), designed by Alexis Santana Rodríguez and representing URBASER.

There will be no Carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2021, although the City Council is working with the Carnival groups in the design of some activities that can maintain the spirit of the festivities during the weeks in which it should have been celebrated



Ana Benavides Castilla | Gala Reina del Carnaval | S/C Tenerife 2020

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Traditional recipes: Rosquetes rellenos (stuffed donuts) a 19th century recipe

Rosquetes canarios (Canarian donuts)

Fried donuts filled with a boozy, nutty, syrupy mixture, what's not to like? Some effort, but should be well worth it. Those of you 'of a certain age' may be familiar with the curious old measurements that had appeared in this ancient Canarian recipe.

Ingredients: 

1 egg and 4 egg yolks
½ pound (250g) of flour
½ pound (250g) of lard
2 teaspoons of yeast
juice of 1.5 lemons
a pinch of salt
butter for spreading
2 ounces (57.4g) peeled almonds
½ pound (250g) of sugar
a glass of anise liqueur
ground cinnamon
anise/aniseed
Sherry

Method: 

Beat an egg (white and yolk together). Next, mix ½ pound of flour and ½ pound of lard and two teaspoons of yeast. When they are well mixed, add the beaten egg, which has previously been mixed with the water that is necessary [going to have to guess this one], the juice of 1 lemon and a pinch of salt. After kneading everything very well, roll out the dough on a floured surface. When well extended, it needs to be folded into four. It is first spread well with butter. This must be done three times, letting butter rest from one layer to another, for about ten minutes.

Fry two ounces of peeled almonds then grind them. Then a syrup is made, putting on the heat half a pound of sugar with half a quart of water and stirring well (it is removed from the heat when the syrup coats the back of the spoon, hanging on it as if it were a strand). To this syrup are added the ground almonds, the juice of half a lemon, a glass of anise liqueur, a powder [pinch] of ground cinnamon, a powder [pinch] of anise, half a portion of Sherry wine and four yolks. When all the ingredients have been mixed well, put this paste on the heat until it is well cooked. It is better to wait a day to introduce this paste into the donuts (leave in a cool place).

Roll out the previously prepared dough with a rolling pin, until it is very fine. Then the dough is cut into pieces four fingers wide, put a little of the filling in the center of the dough and then roll it, like a cigar, forming the donut. The donuts are then fried in very hot oil.

  • Libra (Pound): Old weight, variable according to the provinces, in the Canary Islands it can be compared to 500 grams. Therefore, in this recipe 250 grams are mixed. flour and 250 grs. lard. The syrup is also made with 250 grams. of sugar.
  • Onza (Ounce): Weight that consists of 16 adarmes and is equivalent to 287 decigrams. Therefore, in this recipe, the filling of the donuts is made with 57.4 grs. peeled almonds.
  • Cuartillo (Quart): Measurement of liquids, a quarter of a gallon, equivalent to 504 milliliters. Therefore, in this recipe the syrup is made with ¼ liter of water.
  • Polvo (Powder): Powder is understood as that which is only taken with the fingertips of the thumb and index finger [.i.e. a pinch].

El Mercado de La Laguna con las recetas tradicionales: Rosquetes rellenos (Receta del siglo XIX)

The video below shows a more usual recipe for Rosquetes canarios (Canarian donuts), in which the unfilled donuts are fried and then bathed in sugar syrup.



Recetas de cocina fácil - Rosquetes canarios

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Frutas de otoño (Autumn fruits)

Just some of the many autumn fruits which grow in a fertile valley on the north of Tenerife

With today, Tuesday 22 September 2020, being the first day of autumn in the northern hemisphere, we bring you this guide to the seasonal fruits such as figs, quinces, grapes, persimmons, pomegranates, apples, pears, kiwis and nuts (chestnuts, hazelnuts and walnuts), many of which will be familiar, some less so, that are available on the island.

Autumn fruits:

  • Figs: The fig is a sweet fruit that can be found during the late summer and early autumn. Due to their fragility, they are eaten fresh only during autumn, although dried figs are very typical at Christmas.
  • Quince: Quince is an autumn fruit that is consumed only after cooking. For this reason, it is used mainly to make jam, compote or the popular quince paste.
  • Grapes: The grape is a fruit rich in antioxidants that we can enjoy especially during autumn, its best time.
  • Kaki or Persimmon: Persimmon is a tropical fruit typical of autumn, being very difficult to find fresh at another time.
  • Pomegranate: is a refreshing fruit with a sweet and sour taste that is becoming increasingly popular. There are many health benefits, including its high antioxidant content and its stimulating power of sexual desire, which is why it is known as natural viagra.
  • Apple: The apple, one of the most consumed fruits in the world, has its best season in autumn. Discover the different types of apple, how to preserve them and their use in the kitchen.
  • Pears: The pear is a comm:on fruit in every home. Although you can buy pears at any time of the year, their best time is in the autumn. Pears are a good source of vitamin C, fiber, potassium, and vitamin E.
  • Kiwis: The kiwi is a fruit very rich in vitamin C with which it can be made canned, drinks, baked goods or eaten fresh. 
  • Berries: The blueberry is a fruit that is at its best in September. Out of season they are only frozen, packaged or dried. Raspberries are at their best from late summer through to October. The rest of the year it is only possible to buy them frozen, canned or in syrup. Blackberries ripen in late summer and early fall, although they can be easily frozen for year-round enjoyment.

Walnuts for sale in a north Tenerife supermarket

Nuts:

Autumn is the season for nuts, rich in antioxidants and a good source of energy. In addition, nuts stand out for their ease of preservation.

  • Chestnuts: The chestnut is a dry fruit typical of autumn and is usually associated with Christmas. Because they are easy to keep, they can be found until the end of winter.
  • Hazelnuts: Hazelnut is a dried fruit that can be found fresh in autumn, although its greatest demand occurs during the Christmas holidays.
  • Walnuts: The best season to buy walnuts is the month of November, as that is when they are ripe and dry.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Cruise ships expected to return to Tenerife at the end of October

Cruise ships in port in Santa Cruz de Tenerife Hajotthu / CC BY

Cruise ships will return to the ports of Tenerife at the end of October at 60 percent capacity, as required by health regulations, which means an average of 1,500 passengers per week.

The president and director of the Port Authority of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Carlos González and Aitor Acha, held a meeting on Friday with municipal representatives and two consignees to establish lines of collaboration for the new cruise season.

Present at the meeting were José Manuel Bermúdez, mayor of Santa Cruz de Tenerife; Evelyn Alonso, councilor for Economic Promotion; Alfonso Cabello, councilor for Festivities and Recreational Activities; Gabriel Cabrera and Guillermo Ponte, representatives of the consignees Pérez y Cía y Hamilton, and Elisa Zamora, commercial manager of the Port Authority. Juan José Cabrera and Adasath Reyes, councilors of Santa Cruz de La Palma and San Sebastián de La Gomera, respectively, were present via virtual links.

At the beginning of the meeting, both González and Acha presented the current situation that the new cruise season is expected to face, where the Merchant Marine must receive a report from the Canarian Ministry of Health that guarantees the viability of the routes of cruise ships. Once issued and the approval of the Ministry is obtained, 45 days will elapse for it to begin, so it is estimated that the start date will be at the end of October.

Currently, it is hoped to start with the TUI company ships, which it will do so at 60 percent capacity, attracting about 1,500 weekly passengers.

The main doubts on the part of the municipalities have been directed to security. The consignees have discussed the tests carried out with cruises in Greece, so it is likely that cruise passengers will be prevented from leaving the ships autonomously, proposing excursions and 'bubble activities' only. José Manuel Bermúdez has offered public spaces to develop proposals for visitors, "due to the importance of the presence of cruise passengers in our city for the capital's business fabric."

The Health Department has emphasized that there must be no infections, so a protocol has been developed, for which Puertos de Tenerife has requested collaboration, to provide residences to house any possible infected person. Bermúdez, Cabrera and Adasath have promised after the meeting to collaborate with the port authority to locate spaces that could be used for this purpose. Everything indicates that, although with restrictions, the cruise season is going to resume in the Canary Islands after the health crisis, with bases in Las Palmas and Santa Cruz de Tenerife.


[ED: Can't help thinking that there is a lot of wishful thinking here.]

Sunday, September 20, 2020

La Laguna to remember the victims of the Los Rodeos plane crash in the San Juan cemetery

Cementerio de San Juan Bautista, La Laguna Mataparda / CC BY

The City Council will place a monolith and a plaque in the place where those people who died in the worst accident in the history of aviation rest and who could not be identified.

The Department of Cemeteries of the City Council of La Laguna, led by Cristina Ledesma, has started the process to place a monolith and a plaque in the Cementerio de San Juan Bautista in tribute to the 583 people who lost their lives in the largest plane crash in history, which occurred 43 years ago at the Los Rodeos airport. These recognitions will be located in the place where the remains of many of the victims are located, who also have a sculpture in their memory in the municipality on the Mesa Mota mountain.

“It is an act of justice to preserve the memory of the victims of that accident who were buried in a grave in the San Juan cemetery, without being able to be identified, with the future monument and the plaque, but also by sprucing up the plot where these remains can be found”. "All of them are part of history for this terrible event and we want to carry out this initiative out of respect for them and their families, who lost their loved ones without having the opportunity to say goodbye in an appropriate way," she adds.

The event took place on March 27, 1977 and was caused by the collision between two Boeing 747 aircraft. The accident has the highest number of fatalities in aviation history, with 583 passengers losing their lives and just 61 surviving.

La Laguna recordará a las víctimas del accidente aéreo de Los Rodeos en el cementerio de San Juan (Via)

Cementerio de San Juan La Laguna Tenerife

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Güímar Hillclimb 2020 Suspended

Another event on the Rally Calendar, the Güímar Hillclimb, that was to have taken place this weekend, has now been suspended.

In a statement, organisers said that, given the current health situation, as well as the requirements imposed by the Government of the Canary Islands in terms of the prevention of contagion of COVID-19, they have made the decision to SUSPEND the 47th Ascent to the Mirador de Güímar - Tenerife Island. 

The event had already been postponed from July and, additionally, their efforts were truncated by not being able to find the necessary financial support to be able to celebrate with all the demands that are required today. 

We can merely bring you a little snippet of the action from last year.


46º SUBIDA A GÜÍMAR 2019

Friday, September 18, 2020

The City of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is left without its "usual" Carnival in 2021 after eliminating dances and contests

Carnival Parade in Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2019

The Councillor of Fiestas indicates that only the election of the Carnival Queen and group exhibitions would be held, which will last throughout the year for tourism

Santa Cruz de Tenerife will be without Carnival "as we know it" in 2021. It will not have dances at night in the streets, nor Daytime Carnivals, nor the fair, nor contests. Although it's expected that there will be a gala for the election of the carnival queen, it would be the only contest that would take place and this would be outdoors. The program would be completed with some group exhibitions. This "Carnival experience" will last approximately a week.

Faced with the uncertainty caused by the Covid 19 coronavirus pandemic, councilor Alfonso Cabello affirmed that next year, Santa Cruz will not be able to enjoy its Carnival "as usual, unless the situation changes a lot and we have a vaccine." "Hopefully I can see our Carnival again in this mandate as it has always been," he added.

Regarding the dates, he also clarified that it is not yet completely decided if this "Carnival experience" will take place in April or July, although the Councilor anticipates that it will be held after Easter. "Companies in the events sector prefer April and Carnival groups, July. The final decision will be made between September and October," he said.

What is clear, he added, is that "it will not be a traditional Carnival, because, in principle, there will be no dances in the street, neither night or day; no mass performances; no fair; nor contests." "We have to think that it will be a different party, that it will last approximately a week and in which there will be no crowds. Our intention is that the Queen can be chosen and that there will be a stellar performance at the gala. The rest of the program will be formed of exhibitions led by the groups," he said.

Responding to a request by Ashotel (Hotel Association of Tenerife, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro), these exhibitions will continue throughout the year for tourists so that carnival may generate revenue during the 365 days of the year. "We will create a brand so that this lasts beyond a week. The economic amounts that we give to the carnival groups (murgas, comparsas, groups and rondallas) correspond to the performances they carry out. As in 2021 there will not be contests, we can take advantage of exhibitions, for example for cruise passengers when they arrive at the port, throughout the year," explained Cabello.

Santa Cruz de Tenerife se quedará sin su Carnaval "de siempre" al eliminar bailes y concursos

[NB: Parades are not mentioned, but if there are to be no crowds, then we should probably assume that there will also not be any of the parades in the streets next year either.]

UPDATEThere will be no Carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2021, although the City Council is working with the Carnival groups in the design of some activities that can maintain the spirit of the festivities during the weeks in which it should have been celebrated

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Concern in the Canary Islands about the five hurricanes moving across the Atlantic

Five hurricanes (stock image)

The hurricanes that are currently active - the 5 tropical cyclones in the Atlantic at the same time for only the second time in history - will not affect the archipelago, but AEMET does not rule out the arrival of a cyclonic episode before the end of October.

The delegate of the State Meteorological Agency in the Canary Islands, Jesús Agüera, has made an assurance that the hurricanes that have formed in recent days in the Atlantic will not reach the archipelago, although the agency has not ruled out that, before the end of the season, the islands may be affected by any of these phenomena.

Preocupación en Canarias por los cinco huracanes que se desplazan por el Atlántico

[ED: Could 2020 get any worse? No, DON'T answer that!]

UPDATEHURRICANE PAULETTE STARTS HEADING TO THE CANARY ISLANDS

Comparsa Danzarines Canarios 2020

Comparsa Danzarines Canarios 2020

The comparsa groups epitomise the spirit of carnival with all they impart in their 'colour, joy and rhythm [...] with exuberant costumes and sonorous drums.' This is Comparsa Danzarines Canarios' performance at the Comparsas Contest in 2020.

There will be no Carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2021, although the City Council is working with the Carnival groups in the design of some activities that can maintain the spirit of the festivities during the weeks in which it should have been celebrated



Los Danzarines Canarios | Comparsas Adultas | S/C Tenerife 2020

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Carnivals of the World: La Palma

The quintessential character of this festival is La Negra Tomasa whose arrival triggers the celebration of the Los Indianos festival was devised by Victor Lorenzo Díaz Molina, better known as Sosó.
Ayuntamiento de Santa Cruz de La Palma / CC BY-SA

For this excursion to the Carnivals of the World - the theme chosen for Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival in 2021, we need only go as far as the neighbouring island of La Palma, where the biggest event of the carnival in the capital, Santa Cruz de La Palma is Los Indianos, normally held on Carnival Monday, the day before Shrove Tuesday

The figure of La Negra Tomasa, possibly the most emblematic character of this festival, is certain to offend some people, being a character who is blacked up and in drag, so a little context and history is required to attempt to explain this unique tradition.

Los Indianos is a traditional festival on the island of La Palma that attempts to poke fun at the islanders who had emigrated to Las Indias, that is the West Indies, more specifically to Cuba, and who, on their return, flaunted the wealth they had obtained in those lands. These islanders who had emigrated and returned to the island were labeled "indianos".

In the middle of the afternoon, the parade begins from the Avenida de los Indianos, next to the port, to the Plaza de La Alameda, where the party will continue until the early hours of the morning. The Indianos carry luggage; leather suitcases and trunks, maybe filled with Monopoly money, cages with tropical animals and some even a retinue of black servants, all accompanied by Cuban music and tastings of sugar cane, molasses and mojitos.

Traditional dress for this festival consists of a guayabera (a.k.a. Beach wedding shirts) traditionally associated with Cuba and white pants or a linen suit, as well as a Panamanian hat. Women dress in equally white period dresses and lace parasols. As can be seen, the festival has a strong Cuban flavour, this is so because it was one of the main sources of emigration for many people of La Palma, so the two islands were strongly linked.

Tons of talc are used in the battle Ayuntamiento de Santa Cruz de La Palma / CC BY-SA

The battle of talcum powder, according to popular belief, has its origin during the 19th century, when a ship left a cargo of flour in poor condition in port, becoming an element of fun at the carnival that was celebrated at that time. This belief was discarded because 17th century documents have been found that speak of "powdering" on Carnival Monday. It is believed to be a custom inherited from Cuban rituals of bleaching the skin. At the beginning of the 20th century, this tradition was repressed, as "it disturbed public order too much", but from the second half of the century it began to recover, replacing the flour with talc.



Los Indianos de Santa Cruz de La Palma 2020

There will be no Carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2021, although the City Council is working with the Carnival groups in the design of some activities that can maintain the spirit of the festivities during the weeks in which it should have been celebrated

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Magic and Mythology the winning theme for Carnival 2021 in Puerto de la Cruz

Magic and Mythology the theme of Carnival 2021 in Puerto de la Cruz

Winning with just one vote, Magic and Mythology has been chosen to be the theme of Carnival 2021 in Puerto de la Cruz, which currently, the town hall and organisers are hoping to hold on it's originally planned dates of between 11 and 20 February 2021.

The 1,375 votes were distributed as follows: Magic and Mythology: 433, My Pretty Cuba: 432, The World of TV: 298, Pop Art: 114 and A Carnival of Toys: 98.

Carnival in Puerto de la Cruz

Monday, September 14, 2020

La Laguna this year celebrates some very atypical Fiestas del Cristo

Cristo de La Laguna elduendesuarez / CC BY-SA

Today, 14 September, should have been the Día Grande (Big Day) of the fiestas in honour of the Cristo de La Laguna. In normal years, the 16th Century icon, the most venerated figure of Christ in the Canary Islands, would be brought out in procession from its Real Santuario del Santísimo Cristo de La Laguna (Royal Sanctuary of the Christ of La Laguna) to the sound of the ringing of bells and escorted by Tenerife artillerymen, honouring a promise made in 1921, along with members of the Esclavitud del Cristo (brotherhood or fraternity of devotees), filling the streets of the historic center of the city with people.

However, this year La Laguna will celebrate atypical festivals in honor of Christ due to the current health crisis, which for the first time in more than four centuries will prevent the image from taking to the streets to avoid crowds. The cultural events will be held in the Teatro Leal and all of the religious ones will take place inside the temple only.

Mayor of La Laguna, Luis Yeray Gutiérrez, and the Councilor for Parties, Carla Cabrera, added that the program of civil and religious events will be limited and that the main events will be broadcast on the internet. The program is "necessarily symbolic" and appropriate to the health situation, although it could be modified according to the evolution of the pandemic, and for which the authorities have also appealed to collective responsibility and prudence.

These festivities usually take place throughout the month of September, with the 14th being the central day, but this year the best we can offer is this memory from last year.



FIESTAS DEL CRISTO DIA GRANDE 2019.09.14 LA LAGUNA ISLAS CANARIAS

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Santa Cruz de Tenerife Council sees it as very difficult to organize a massive Carnival in 2021

Carnival Opening Parade in 2019

The Councilor for Fiestas of the Santa Cruz de Tenerife Council, Alfonso Cabello, said on Thursday that it would be very difficult for a massive carnival to be organized in the city next year due to the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic. However, he has indicated that a decision will be made at the end of the month or the beginning of October because they also want to evaluate how the school year starts in the archipelago.

Cabello has said that a survey is being carried out among carnival groups and companies related to the leisure industry –and discussed with municipal groups– about the two proposals that are on the table: April or July. The mayor has admitted that a carnival will probably not be held with large crowds of more than 200,000 people and says that the groups prefer the summer and companies April, so as not to affect summer business.

El Ayuntamiento de Santa Cruz de Tenerife ve “muy difícil” organizar un Carnaval multitudinario en 2021

UPDATEThere will be no Carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2021, although the City Council is working with the Carnival groups in the design of some activities that can maintain the spirit of the festivities during the weeks in which it should have been celebrated

Friday, September 11, 2020

Rallysprint Atogo 2020 on 12 September adapts to the new Covid-19 regulations

Rallysprint Atogo

The 15th Rallysprint Atogo 2020 takes place on September 12 - in the hills above Tenerife South Airport - and the Atogo Team is working hard to adapt the the rally to the new health and government regulations. In particular, spectators will have to register on the website.

Without this registration, spectators will not be able to access the areas defined for the event, even though these areas will have a maximum capacity, which once reached, access to them will be closed and controlled by security staff. Fans will have to make this small effort in exchange for enjoying the great show in Atogo for free on September 12.

The organisers, in addition, are cordoning off certain "hot" areas and imposing rules that must be strictly adhered to. The two entrances to the finish and the start will be controlled, the area of ​​the Charca de Atogo, Curva de Toledo and Curva del Cabrero (a total of 5 controlled spaces). Even if you do not intend go to these specific areas, they ask that fans register on their website for control of the organization and the competent authorities.

Likewise, orgainisers insist on distancing, mask wearing and hand cleaning; "common sense", whether professionals taking part or fans, for the good of all.



RallySprint de Atogo 2019

Short video summary of the RallySprint de Atogo 2019, where Lauren García takes her first victory of the year with her 2010 Porsche 997 GT3 together with Samuel Martín.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Third Maid of Honour to the Junior Carnival Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2020

Third Maid of Honour

Third Maid of Honour to the Junior Carnival Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2020 is Paula González Sánchez with a costume entitled ‘El mundo que habito’ (The world I inhabit) by Riverol Creaciones, representing Diseñadores del Carnaval Ahuarita.

There will be no Carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2021, although the City Council is working with the Carnival groups in the design of some activities that can maintain the spirit of the festivities during the weeks in which it should have been celebrated



Paula González Sánchez | Gala Reina Infantil | S/C Tenerife

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

The other epidemic that changed the history of the conquest of the Canary Islands

Depiction of the First Battle of Acentejo by Gumersindo Robayna / Public domain

That coronavirus is not the only epidemic that the Canary Islands have suffered is somewhat evident, but few know which was the first. At the end of the 15th Century, in the midst of the the conquest of the island of Tenerife by the Castilians, the Guanches suffered a terrible epidemic with symptoms similar to the flu, refered to as "drowsiness" that killed, 25% of the aboriginal population, facilitating the taking of the island.

With rudimentary means - wooden-tipped spears and stones - compared to their rival's weapons, the knowledge of the terrain allowed the Guanches to defeat the Castilian troops in the first of the Acentejo battles in the spring of 1494. But the joy would not last long, as nature had prepared a setback for them: the spread of an epidemic that struck from the autumn of 1494 to the winter of 1495, especially to the menceyatos of Taoro, Tegueste, Tacoronte and Anaga, although it also came to other more isolated areas of the island.

The historian José de Viera y Clavijo referred to this epidemic in the 18th century as that "from which so many Guanches died", explaining that it consisted of "malignant fevers or acute pleurisy that ended in a poisonous dream that we call drowsiness."

Several centuries later, thanks to the director of the Archaeological Museum of Tenerife, Conrado Rodríguez-Maffiotte, we know that this pathology was presented by very acute respiratory symptoms in "virgin terrain", that is territory whose population has no defense against the virus or bacteria, something that, without a vaccine, compares with the defenselessness that exists today against Covid-19.

The epidemic arrived with the conquerors and it was precisely this contact, not only between the Guanches and the Castilians, but between the Aborigines themselves - since it was a time of war - which favored the spread of the epidemic, ending the lives of five thousand of the twenty thousand Guanches who lived in Tenerife.

Most historians agree that "the drowsiness" was one of the final determinants of the conquest of the island - and being the last to be taken, therefore, it is also the conquest of the Canary Islands - by the Spanish, who saw in this epidemic "a miraculous act sent by God, who had put himself on his side to defeat the aborigines."

La modorra: La gripe que mató al 25% de guanches en la conquista de Tenerife
La otra epidemia que cambió la historia de la conquista de Canarias
What became of the Guanches?

Tuesday, September 08, 2020

No Fiestas de la Luz in Los Silos because of the uncertainties over the health situation

Los Silos dressed for fiestas

September 8 is normally the big day of the Fiestas de la Luz in Los Silos - the town with, in my opinion, the prettiest church anywhere - in the Isla Baja area of Tenerife. This year, the Fiestas Commission announced back in June that they would not be organising festivities this year in honor of the Virgen de la Luz (Virgin of the Light), because of the uncertainties over the health situation. They also said they didn't want to accept the subsidy agreed with the council, knowing that there are other priorities that must be addressed. On the other hand, they have announced their will to organize the festivities for next year.

Among the usual events of these fiestas for the town's patron, are the main parade on September 8, shown below from a few years ago. The following day, the figure of Our Lady of the Light paid a visit to the local old folks home that also bears her name and Eucharist is said outside, which must be great comfort for those residents who cannot make it to the church. We hope, as this is outdoors, that this is still able to take place this year.

As part of these fielstas, Los Silos also celebrated one of the island's weirdest events - and there's certainly plenty of competition for that accolade - the Ofrenda floral submarina (Underwater floral offering), in which a bunch of scuba divers placed flowers around an icon of the virgin that had been installed underwater as protection, presumably for all sailors, divers, etc. We're not sure this still takes place, but it was certainly remarkable.



Procesión del Día de las Fiestas - La Luz 2012 Los Silos


Monday, September 07, 2020

The Romería de la Bajada de la Virgen del Socorro to be virtual only this year

Bajada Virgen de El Socorro 2018 RelinoticiasTenerife2019 / CC BY-SA

Although, 7 September 2020 is a public holiday (in leiu of the usual Tenerife-specific holiday on February 2), the Romería de la Bajada de la Virgen del Socorro, considered the oldest romeria of the Canary Islands, like so many other events, is a victim of it's own popularity in these times that demand social distancing and this year will only take place virtually.

There will be no El Socorro pilgrimage this year, neither Bajada nor Subida (referring to the two events of bringing the icon down from her temple and returning back up the next day), there will only be religious acts and a virtual pilgrimage, the local authorities in Güímar decided. All agreed on the need to ensure security above all and, that it is logically impossible to carry out a pilgrimage in the current circumstances.

The representatives of the San Pedro Arriba and San Pedro Abajo commissions, as well as the Los Guanches de la Virgen collective, stated that "there are other years", and that "you cannot control so many people and less so this year when it is a holiday throughout the island ", so "even more people would come than usual from all over Tenerife. "

No habrá Bajada de El Socorro, solo de manera virtual



BAJADA VIRGEN DE EL SOCORRO | GÜÍMAR 2019

Saturday, September 05, 2020

Canary Islands will impose fines of up to 3,000 euros for repeated failings in mask use

Mask use outside the home is compulsory in Spain

The Government of the Canary Islands approved a decree of law on Thursday, which it updates the sanctions for non-compliance with the regulations to contain the coronavirus pandemic and includes fines of up to 3,000 euros if the mask is repeatedly not used.

This was announced by the spokesman for the Executive, Julio Pérez, after the meeting of the Governing Council in which he stressed that the tightening of sanctions was necessary to achieve the double objective of facilitating the work of the security forces and "sending a message to the public that whoever does not comply, risks an important sanction."

The new decree, which will be published Friday or Saturday in the Official Gazette of the Canary Islands (BOC), maintains the minimum fine for not using the mask at 100 euros.

Canarias impondrá multas de hasta 3.000 euros si hay reiteración en no usar la mascarilla

Friday, September 04, 2020

Finalist for Carnival Queen in 2020

Lorena Gómez Hernández

In 2020 there were sixteen candidates for the title of Carnival Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife and, effectively, eight were eliminated and eight finalists were brought back on stage, amongst whom were the queen and her four maids of honour. This was the first time, to my knowledge, that it was done in such a manner, besides, I doubt any more than eight would fit on stage at once. This is one of the remaining three finalists, Lorena Gómez Hernández in a costume entitled, Isla Bella (Beautiful Island), designed by Tin Quintero Rosa and representing Ferretería Castro Delgado and Ferretería Las Pirámides.

There will be no Carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2021, although the City Council is working with the Carnival groups in the design of some activities that can maintain the spirit of the festivities during the weeks in which it should have been celebrated



Lorena Gómez Hernández | Gala Reina del Carnaval | S/C Tenerife 2020

Puerto de la Cruz celebrates its "most unique" Summer Carnival until September 6

Costume on display at the first Summer Carnival in 2016

The fifth edition of this festival that begins today and will last until Sunday, is mainly intended for tourism with performances by carnival groups in hotels in the city

It is not easy to make decisions at this time and less in the area of ​​Fiestas, but the mayor, Marco González, knows what Puerto de la Cruz needs and that is why he has opted to celebrate the Summer Carnival in a unique way, "where there will be no music and dancing in the street, no galas or float parties”. This is how the councilor for Fiestas, Alberto Castilla, presented the program of the fifth edition of the Summer Carnival in Puerto de la Cruz that began yesterday with two exhibitions and will continue until Sunday 6.

The presentation was made at the Martiánez Shopping Center, accompanied by the mayor; the councilors for Tourism and Tourism Promotion, Carolina Rodríguez and Roberto Medina, respectively, as well as representatives of all the Carnival groups, including those from the city of Düsseldorf, and the Queen and the King of 2019.

The mayor explained that this year's edition will be mainly aimed at tourism given the impossibility of organizing mass events due to the health regulations imposed by Covid-19.

Tourists staying in various hotels in the city will be able to enjoy the performances of the Carnival groups that will show the beauty, rhythm and color of this festival.

One of the novelties this year is the launch of the first Carnival School. Various workshops will take place at the Lago Martiánez. There will be characterization and fantasy makeup, carving and structure in foam rubber, hairstyles, and professional communication of the Carnival. Registration for all of them is mandatory and can be done by email carnavaldeveranodetenerife@gmail.com.

A documentary entitled "Puerto de la Cruz, an International Carnival" will premiere on Sunday at 9:00 p.m. - via the Facebook page of Puerto de la Cruz' Department of Festivities and Historical Heritage - recalling the main events from previous editions, such as the gala for the election of the first King of Carnival 2019. The exhibition of costumes will last until September 13, in which you can also see the costumes of the Queen and the first infant King of last year, at the Martiánez Shopping Center.

El Puerto de la Cruz celebra su Carnaval de Verano “más singular”

Thursday, September 03, 2020

Tegueste celebrates the Virgen de los Remedios with all sanitary guarantees

San Marcos Square, Tegueste

Respecting sanitary measures, the program includes summer cinema, performances at the Teatro Príncipe Felipe (Prince Felipe Theater), exhibitions and religious events

Tegueste is celebrating, from today until September 11th, the festival in honour of the Virgin of Los Remedios, co-patron of the municipality, with activities for the whole family.

Mayor, Ana Rosa Mena, stressed that all activities will be carried out respecting safety distances, capacity and the mandatory use of a mask. "We will commemorate the festivities of Los Remedios in a way, without a doubt, different from that of pevious years, but with great enthusiasm so that they can be enjoyed under all security measures," she said.

Today and tomorrow, 3rd & 4th Sep, San Marcos Square will host open-air family cinema sessions, starting at 9:00 p.m. Also starting tomorrow, and until the 8th, the Fiestas area organizes an exhibition of photos of the Los Remedios floats at the Casa Prebendado Pacheco (Plaza de San Marcos, 20, 38280 Tegueste), from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. This Saturday 5th Sep, at 9:00 p.m., the Latitud Son group will perform at the Príncipe Felipe Theater. To attend, interested persons must reserve a seat via 922 31 61 19.

The weekend will culminate with a solemn religious service in the church of San Marcos Evangelista, at 12 noon. Then at 9:30 p.m., the Prince Felipe Theater will host a performance by the group Pieles.

Monday and Tuesday, the square will host an exhibition of Tegueste Boats and, from 7:00 p.m. on the 7th, the Virgen de los Remedios will appear at the door of the church.

Tegueste celebra los actos de la Virgen de los Remedios con todas las garantías sanitarias


Puerto de la Cruz Summer Carnival 2020

Puerto de la Cruz Summer Carnival 2020

The groups, designers and collectives of the Puerto carnival intend to maintain the dates for the celebration of the Summer Carnival 2020 and the Winter Carnival 2021

It seems that the authorities in Puerto de la Cruz are still intending to hold their Summer Carnival from 3 to 6 September - an event that was created in 2016 with the aim to reach more tourists and hopefully enjoy some better weather for the festiviites than in winter.

Puerto de La Cruz council and its department of fiestas, together with carnival groups and designers, it's reported, are preparing the 2020 Summer Carnival that will include, as a highlight, the election of the King of the Carnival and will be held from September 3 to 6, as planned, adapting the events to the sanitary measures that will guarantee the safety of all participants. Exactly what those events are, we have no further details. See here.

If the dates for the winter carnival are maintained, these should be from the 11 to 20 February 2021, but it would be difficult to forsee what the situation will be by then.



Carnaval de Verano Puerto de la Cruz 2019

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