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Monday, November 30, 2020

The Christmas Lights switch on in Tenerife

Christmas Lights on the Calle Carrera, La Orotava

Tenerife always does Christmas lights spectacularly, but this year, towns have pulled out all the stops to add a little extra, not only to encourage people to shop in local stores, but also to bring some joy into people's lives - and we surely deserve some. Many towns have switched on their Christmas lights this weekend, so here  are various posts and articles about the Christmas lights in Santa Cruz, La Laguna, La Orotava and Puerto de la Cruz. 

Click on the links below to see the photos and videos: 

Sunday, November 29, 2020

The Spanish Government's proposals for Christmas: dinners for six and a curfew at 1am on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve

Christmas dinners for six and a curfew at 1am on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve

Canary Islands limit meetings to 10 people and implement curfew on key Christmas dates

After an atypical year due to the coronavirus pandemic, it is obvious that this Christmas will not be like other years, as political leaders and health experts have been warning. The Spanish Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, has this week indicated that each Autonomous Community "will have to make [their own] decisions" about Christmas, depending on the epidemiological situation of the coronavirus in the region and has stressed that the measures that the Government issues for these holidays will always be "recommendations".

The Spanish Government's proposals for the Christmas season, include limiting social interactions to a maximum of six people, advises against Three Kings Parades, and the only restriction that would be relaxed is the curfew until 1:00 a.m. on December 24 and 31. 

These details were published before they were discussed this Wednesday at the meeting of the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System - with some expressing regret that Health had "leaked" their plan before debating it. The final recommendations are postponed, at least, until next week, when it is debated again in the Council. 

However, family reunions will continue to be limited to a maximum of six non-cohabitating people. The Department of Health continues to recommend limiting participation to family members who already coexist, remembering that it is "in the social sphere, in meetings of non-cohabiting family and friends", where most outbreaks of infections have occurred.

Social and family gatherings

Regarding the meetings of non-cohabitants, the draft recommends avoiding or minimizing social encounters and if they are held, that they be "preferably outside", while insisting that what they have called the "6M" guaranteed, this is, the usual prevention measures.

These 6M are: mask (use of mask as much as possible); manos (hands) (frequent hand washing); meters (maintenance of physical distance); maximize ventilation and outdoor activities (keep windows and doors open when safe and feasible based on temperature); minimize number of contacts (preferably always the same); and me quedo en casa (stay at home if you have symptoms, a diagnosis or possible contact with someone with COVID-19).

The draft also insists that those people diagnosed with COVID-19 and are still in the period of transmissibility; have symptoms of COVID-19; are waiting for the results of a diagnostic test; or they may have been exposed to someone with coronavirus in the past 14 days do not attend any family or social gathering.

On the dates when many may travel, the document proposes that "those trips that are not strictly necessary" be avoided and recalls that in the case of traveling from abroad, the obligation to present a negative PCR carried out in the 72 hours prior to arrival in Spain and also recommends following the usual security measures.

As for university students who return home for the holidays, the draft recommends "that they limit social interactions on the days before they return home and that they take extra precautionary measures." And in addition, it indicates that they limit their contacts once at home, and interact especially outdoors and wear masks.

Without Parades of Kings

The Government recalls that events such as the Three Kings Parade and other events where there are usually crowds, involve situations of "high risk" of transmission, so it does not recommend their celebration. In the case of parades, it advises that alternatives be considered that guarantee compliance with hygiene and prevention regulations.

Other types of events held in specific squares or places, such as Nativity scenes or Christmas concerts, where access and interpersonal distance can be controlled, can be maintained while respecting a 50% capacity.

Christmas markets can be organized keeping to the capacity established in each autonomous community and provided they are outdoors and the safety distance can be maintained.

Other Christmas Activities

For other traditional Christmas activities that are held in cinemas, theaters, auditoriums, circus tents or similar, they can be carried out respecting the current capacity in each autonomous community. Even so, the Government indicates that when possible, these activities are carried out outdoors and within the safe distance.

Religious ceremonies in closed spaces will follow the capacity rules established in each autonomy, as long as the safety distance can be maintained. However, during the celebration of the religious act it is recommended not to sing and to use prerecorded music.

The traditional Misa del Gallo (Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve) could be celebrated as long as it does not interfere with the curfew. The document suggests that online or television services may be offered as an alternative.

El plan del Gobierno para la Navidad: cenas de seis personas y toque de queda a la 1 en Nochebuena y Nochevieja

Saturday, November 28, 2020

The tradition of the Tablas de San Andrés

Tablas de San Andrés in olden times

The festival of Las Tablas de San Andrés in the town of Icod de los Vinos has nothing to do with the saint of the same name, but is thus known because it is celebrated on November 29 and 30, which is the day of San Andrés (St Andrew's Day) and has become a popular custom. Originally, spread by word of mouth, with the day of San Andrés taken as a reference, which is why, even today, it's known as Las Tablas de San Andrés.

The story goes that this fiesta originated from an anecdotal event: Tenerife is an island characterized by its unevenness and in some areas the slopes are steeper and in Icod de los Vinos especially. The town was well known throughout the islands for its winemaking tradition and the winemakers of old had the custom of washing the wine barrels in the sea because they said that the salt water eliminated the acids from the interior.

At that time there was no transport that allowed the barrels to be carried downhill to the sea, so they lowered them, either rolling or on some boards which slid until they reached the area near the sea. The boards also protected the barrels from possible blows that they might suffer on the way. This simple fact of going downhill with the barrel on top of a board was what caught the attention of the youngters, who turned it into a game that, little by little, became the event that is known today. The barrels are no longer transported in this manner, because over the years other more modern means began to be used, but people continue to take to the boards on the most vertiginous slopes [except this year, sadly].

This festival has become so popular that it receives visits from curious tourists who just want to see or to participate like the locals, which is why the municipality has designated specific points to make the descents in order not to create disorder or accidents.

Friday, November 27, 2020

La Orotava Christmas Lights switch on today

Christmas Lights and Nativity in La Orotava

La Orotava is switching on their Christmas Lights today, Friday 27 November, at 7pm, which you can follow on the Town Hall's facebook page. Then from 19:30 to 22hrs, the Nativity display in front of the town hall will be opened to the public.

Puerto de la Cruz is committed to celebrating this Christmas 2020 with 'responsible joy'

Puerto de la Cruz is committed to celebrating Christmas with 'responsible joy'

The City Council presents an open and flexible program, which will adapt to current restrictions, in which the Christmas fair and Parade of Kings are included

The City Council of Puerto de la Cruz has presented a program of Christmas and Three Kings events that, despite the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, intends to celebrate these holidays with “responsible joy”, according to the mayor, Marco González Mesa (PSOE). It is an open and flexible program that will adapt the events to the current situation at all times, so locals and visitors are encouraged to consult the updated information on the municipal website on a day-to-day basis.

With the message ‘Regala alegría’ (Give Joy), the tourist city is committed to maintaining the Feria de Navidad (Christmas Fair), which has generated income of 54,000 euros from the auction of stalls and attractions; the Three Kings parade and the route of the nativity scenes, which this year will be in the windows of local businesses. An effort has been made to extend the Christmas lighting also to all the neighborhoods and music is incorporated, which will fill the streets of Puerto with Christmas carols. To this must be added more than 10,000 poinsettias that will adorn the municipality.

Switching on the Christmas lighting and music will take place tomorrow, Saturday, 28 November

Puerto de la Cruz lights up Christmas! This Saturday, November 28 from 6:00 p.m., follow LIVE through the social networks of the City Council and Channel 10 TV.

Switching on the Christmas lighting and the start-up of the piped music will take place tomorrow, Saturday, 28 November, with the aim of generating a more optimistic and conducive environment in the city. Despite the complicated situation, "we are not going to stop celebrating Christmas, always taking the necessary measures for a safe enjoyment," stressed the mayor, who valued the role of the Asociación Ya Vienen Los Reyes, with a novel parade, and the Asociación de Belenistas San Francisco de Asís, which this year will exhibit their nativity scenes in shop windows or in places that are not currently in use.

These events will be joined by ‘Ando Tapeando Gourmet’ (Gourmet Tapas Route), between 5 and 20 December; the first virtual catwalk ‘Puerto de la Cruz Is Fashion’, or the Insular Craft Fair, scheduled for December 18, 19 and 20 in the Plaza de los Reyes Católicos.

It's also reported that the 'Naviteca' will be organized - a childcare service so that mothers and fathers can calmly enjoy their shopping in the small and medium-sized shops of the city - and a new gift packaging service is being created, which will be located in the Plaza del Charco to serve customers who make their purchases in Puerto de la Cruz.

How to make oven roasted chestnuts

Castanea in Las Lagunetas, Buenavista del Norte, Tenerife

Chestnuts are typical on the island at this time of year, particularly around 29 November on the Eve of San Andrés (St Andrew's Day). In Puerto de la Cruz they usually hold the Fiesta del cacharro y la castaña (Fiesta of the pots and chestnuts)This year, there will be no pots and the council in Puerto de la Cruz is focussing its efforts on being able to install at least one chestnut stand, the exact location of which is yet to be determined, so that a tradition is not lost, but it will have to wait until next year to be celebrated as before. So meanwhile, here's how to at least enjoy the chestnuts at home using a conventional oven, and almost recreate the ritual tradition of peeling and eating freshly roasted chestnuts.


Fresh chestnuts


Preheat the oven to 200ºC and prepare a tray covering it with aluminum foil.

Check that the chestnuts have no damage and wash them well with water. Make a cut on one side with a good knife, trying to cut the inner skin slightly as well. 

Arrange the chestnuts in a single layer on the baking tray and moisten with a little water and sprinkle with salt. Bake at medium height for about 20 minutes, until when pierced they are tender. Let them cool slightly but peel them still hot to make it much easier. 

Tenerife is to continue with COVID-19 restrictions for another fifteen days

Tenerife to continue with COVID-19 restrictions for another fifteen days

The Government of the Canary Islands has agreed to extend the restrictions imposed in Tenerife for another fifteen days due to the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic on the island, while in the coming weeks it will determine the additional rules that will be imposed in the Canary Islands for Christmas.

The spokesman for the Executive, Julio Pérez, stated in the press conference that followed the Government Council that the situation of the pandemic in Tenerife has not worsened, but that it has also not improved enough to suspend these restrictions.

This new extension will be in force until December 10, the Minister of Public Administrations has specified, who has stated that the reason the situation is not improving in Tenerife can not be attributed to one single cause, although in general there is [an issue of] compliance with the measures.

Pérez has indicated that there are private areas in which these measures are not followed "with intensity" and a small breach, he said, "may produce effects that are not small."

Also Pérez has indicated that in the coming weeks the Government will dictate additional regulations to those currently in force and related to the upcoming Christmas holidays. These regulations refer to limiting the number of attendees at family reunions, restricting mobility and cutting the hours of hotel and restaurant activities.

Tenerife no mejora y seguirá con las restricciones por la covid-19 otros quince días

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Comparsa Los Joroperos 2020

Comparsa Los Joroperos 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.' Comparsa, Los Joroperos were placed second for interpretation 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 Joroperos | Comparsas Adultas | S/C Tenerife 2020

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Christmas in Santa Cruz: Lights, fireworks, music & theater make up the festive program

Lights in the Calle Bethencourt Alfonso, Santa Cruz

The City Council of Santa Cruz de Tenerife presented on Tuesday the Christmas program for the city. The first act will take place tomorrow, Thursday, 26 November, at 7:00 p.m., when the Christmas lights, made up of more than three million LED bulbs, are officially turned on. This will be transmitted through social networks to avoid the public gathering to watch.

The Christmas lighting in Tenerife's capital this year will have more than 26 kilometers of garlands, 686 Christmas motifs, 170 light arches and five floor motifs. Perhaps the most striking thing is the tunnel of light in the Plaza del Príncipe, which will be about 90 meters long and a cascade of LED lights. A total of 140 streets will be illuminated throughout the municipality. Also the annual planting of the poinsettias began on Tuesday. 

Theater, film, exhibitions, music and dance are all included in the culture program for the Christmas period. The Guimerá Theater will offer shows for children, as will the La Recova Scenic Space. It was also announced that the Book Fair will be held from December 3 to 8 in the Palmetum car park. Comedian Manolo Vieira will perform at the Guimerá.

Folkloric groups, in groups of 6, will tour the districts animating the streets with Christmas carols, activities in which the three bands of the municipality will also participate. The city's shop windows will become improvised art galleries, where different artists will exhibit their creations. This Tuesday, Marco y María's store was already showing one of the works. On December 5 the nativity scene in the Plaza de la Candelaria will be inaugurated, while on the 15th the Palmetum will open to the show Naturaleza Encendida (literally, Nature Lit Up), which has already sold 2,000 tickets.

New Year

Spanish Television will broadcast the chimes marking the end of the year from the Plaza de España and the fireworks displays in the five districts celebrating the New Year.

Three Kings

There won't be a Three Kings parade and their reception ceremony will be held behind closed doors. The city council is negotiating for it to be broadcast on television. What there will be are paseos reales (royal walks) through the five districts of the city. Although they didn't give many details, the council did advance that there will be no stops and that the exact route in each district will only be known at very short notice to avoid crowds.

The program presented by Santa Cruz may undergo variations, as it is still subject to authorisation by Public Health of the Government of the Canary Islands.

Both the Local Police and Civil Protection will be ensuring compliance with the rules and collaborating in everything that stores, residents and visitors may need.

San Andrés, Tenerife wines and travelers

Barrels of wine in Tenerife Gerardo nuñez, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

As San Andrés (St Andrew's Day) approaches and with it the opening of the wineries, so talk turns to wine. The quality of the island's wines has been universally recognized. Proof of this are the references we collect from many travelers who have visited Tenerife.

Sir George Leonard Staunton, 1st Baronet
(10 April 1737 – 14 January 1801)
was an employee of the East India
 Company and a botanist.
The Irish doctor George Stauton, who visited Tenerife in 1792, agrees with the rest of the visitors, both before and after him, that the goodness of the La Laguna climate, together with its exclusive situation, “in an eminence and in the middle of a fertile and very extensive”, determine its great agricultural wealth. For example, only a few years before (1787), the physician John White, “on wines, oil, potatoes, wheat and everything that concerns the supply of ships. The island provides these items in abundance and not only produces the fruits of the tropics, but also a large part of the vegetables of Europe”.

But it is precisely the vineyards "that form the most fruitful branch of the products and prosperity of Tenerife" (Ledru, 1796). Many previous travelers had already discussed the quality of our wines, such as Thomas Nicols (1560): “Tenerife produces three kinds of excellent wines, which are known by the names of Canario, Malvasía and Verdona. The English confuse all three of them with the name Sack. The vines that the Canary Islands wines are produced from were transplanted by the Spaniards from the Rhine to Tenerife, in the reign of Carlos I of Spain and V of Germany. That of Malvasía was not known in Tenerife before the Spanish brought some vines from Candia (Crete), which today produce better wine and in more abundance than on the island of Candia itself, whose goodness is increased by transport and vegetation. The Verdona or Verde wine is stronger than the Canary, it is taken to the east of the island and shipped in Santa Cruz. The Canary goes to the West and embarks in La Orotava”.

In the 18th century, the variety of our wines had been reduced to two, although the quality of Malvasía had diversified, as the astronomer and naturalist Louis Feuillée (1724) states:

“The main riches of the Canary Islands come from the good wine harvests that are made there. There are two kinds: Malvasía and Dry Wine. The Malvasía is divided into two, first and second. The English trade with the former, which is the most delicate and palatable. Hamburgers and Dutch people trade in the latter, which does not have the sweetness and delicacy of the former. Dry Wines are appreciated by those who make long journeys. These wines are never spoiled by many storms in the sea ”.

André Pierre Ledru, who visited Tenerife on a scientific mission in 1796, pronounces in similar terms: “In Tenerife two kinds of wine are made, Malvasía and Vidueño. The first (…) is made with the bunch that is left on the vine after it has matured, so that it is toasted and scorched by the sun. It is sugary, pleasant to the taste and keeps for a long time. Formerly the English exported it in large quantities. Nowadays the owners make it only for their own use (…) Vidueño, extracted from a large grape that gives a strong and spirited liquor, is prepared following the usual method in Europe ”. 

Note that sixty years after Feuillée's comment, the English wine trade in the Canary Islands had already disappeared. 

It is precisely in Ledru where we find an extensive description of the cultivation method: “Every year they are given five tasks:

  • 1st, in November and December the earth is deeply stirred, preparing it to receive the January rains and to kill the weeds; the use of manure is unknown.
  • 2nd, they are pruned in February, to fix the sap in the good vines; This work is done in January if the southerly winds have reigned before, because they accelerate the development of the shoots.
  • 3rd, immediately after this last operation, the vine is tied to the trellises, which are meters and a half high, and the branches that must give the fruit are attached, in order to give them a solid support against the winds.
  • 4th, in May the vine is carefully harvested and cleaned of all parasitic plants that consume part of the juice and give it a disease known in France as ringworm.
  • 5th, the last operation consists of clearing the rows and extending the branches, arranging them in such a way that they all enjoy the vivifying action of the sun.

Ledru, in the scientific mission in 1796 also leaves us a record of how and when the harvest was carried out: 
"The harvest is generally done in July or August. Once harvested, the grapes are taken to the press, built roughly like those in France. There it is stepped on, and when the first must has flowed, the grape harvester surrounds the pomace with a rope of reed and covers it with logs that are tightly tightened with a screw in order to squeeze all the liquid it contains from the cluster. Often the owners add brandy to the wine in sufficient quantity to clarify it, increase its strength and keep it for a long time. Sometimes they also put red wine in it to color it”.
The Lagar or Wine Press in Garachico

Focusing on the trade of this product, James Cook (1776) -who curiously states that a species of grapes from Tenerife is considered an excellent remedy against consumption- describes it as “quite considerable, since there are produced forty thousand pipes of wine [The term comes from the Portuguese word for barrel, pipa. A pipe is a large, lengthy barrel with tapered ends, and the sizes vary quite a bit - anywhere from 350 to over 600 liters], which are consumed on the island or turned into aguardiente, which is sent to the Spanish islands of the new world ”.

Although it may seem so, this calculation is not exaggerated, if we take into account the data provided by Olas, for whom the inhabitants of Tenerife exported fifteen thousand pipes of wine and brandy annually; adding that in the last census, preceding his trip, there were no fewer than 96,000 inhabitants on the island. Thirty years had passed since then and it can reasonably be assumed that the population had increased greatly. Thus, the quantity of wine consumed by a population of at least ten thousand people must rise to several thousand pipes, and the liquor factories have to use another very considerable quantity, since it takes five or six pipes to make one of liquor.

As for wine prices, they logically vary according to the dates, so we will limit ourselves to mentioning that foreigners had to pay a price considerably higher than that of the island's inhabitants. On the other hand, merchants had to pay high tariffs to export our wine, as Feuillée (1724) points out: “The King of England greatly protects the trade of his subjects in the Canaries, showing interest, since he demands from them the payment of considerable fees for the entry of wine into England. The fee for each pipe is twelve pounds sterling. It is estimated that more than ten thousand pipes enter each year, so the King earns more than the wine owners (…) 

The King of Spain's income in the Canary Islands is very considerable. He is responsible for six percent of all merchandise that enters or leaves the Islands ”. The Canarian trade experienced one of its most critical and expansive moments in the XVII Century, with the export of its wines to England, but in the second half of the century, the British considered a balance of payments increasingly favorable to the islands, as detrimental to their interests. Thus, they tried to restructure it and orient it towards their benefit through monopolization by the Compañía de Canarias.
The Compañía de Canarias (Canary Company) was a privileged English company founded in 1665 with the aim of acquiring Canarian wines at low prices, establishing a monopoly on trade with the islands. The reluctance of the Canarian authorities to negotiate with the company, the opposition of English merchants outside the company and the illegality of its monopolistic status led to its disappearance in 1667.
To finish, we cannot forget the most playful -and for many the most interesting- aspect of wine, that which produces a strange and contagious joy imbued by spirited vapors, according to some, released by the god Bacchus and culminating in the "exaltation of friendship". Edward Barlow (1668) tells us: 
“After disembarking we went to a tavern to drink wine (…). This wine is considered throughout Europe as the best of its kind, being called Jerez Canario. We drank it with great enthusiasm in two or three places, as it is very good and palatable; and not being used to having such a good drink, it went to my head before I knew it; In spite of everything, it is of such good quality that it does not make anyone sick, which means that you can drink as much as your stomach allows ”.

Hablamos de los vinos de Tenerife y los viajeros I, II, III, IV

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Guardians of the sceptre of Carnival Queen

The candidates who will participate in the show have already received the sceptre.

Some details are emerging of plans for Carnival 2021 in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Although it has already been announced that carnival 2021 is cancelled, it was also declared that there would be one carnival gala. Now we have some idea of the format this may take. 

Only the queens already proclaimed in the last twenty years of the Santa Cruz Carnival will be able to aspire to become "Guardians of the Sceptre", to be chosen in the unique show, the format of which, director Enrique Camacho is already working on. It's proposed that from among ten adults, five junior and five senior queens, one each will be selected to guard the scepter until Carnival 2022, with Carnival 2021 being considered as transitional. 

The show format, to be tailored for television - without a live audience to comply with COVID-19 measures to avoid contagion - will possibly be based on a succession of recorded performances of the queens of the last twenty editions. Also the three guardians - one per modality - will be chosen at the gala by telephone vote from the public.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Icod without the Tablas de San Andrés

Arrastre de las tablas in Icod de los Vinos Photo: Revista BienMeSabe Some rights reserved

Authorities ask residents, for the first time in history, not to observe the tradition

Yet another covid casualty, as Icod de los Vinos is to be without it's tradition of the arrastre de las tablas or Tablas de San Andrés - where youngsters hurtle down the town's vertiginous streets on makeshift sleds on the eve of St Andrew's Day, 29 November. 

Mayor of Icod de los Vinos, Francis González (CC), has asked locals, for the first time in history, not to observe the tradition of arrastre de las tablas for the the festival of San Andrés. The restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic on the island of Tenerife currently, force the council to ask residents and visitors to put away their boards and not slide down the steep streets of the municipality at least until November 2021.

The council doesn't directly organise this popular tradition, but it does facilitate it by closing streets and installing lighting and protective elements in the areas of greatest risk, where many used tires are piled up. This year, due to Covid-19, the council has been forced to eliminate all these measures and to ask, publicly, that no one put themselves at risk on streets that will continue to be open to traffic and without the usual security measures.

González acknowledged that it has been a very difficult decision as mayor and "as an Icodean who still gets out his board every year to slide." He assures that, after holding at least three local security meetings, and several meetings with other groups in the municipality, they had worked until the last moment to find alternatives that would allow maintaining the tradition in November 2020, "but it has been impossible."

The mayor urges residents "not to be tempted to pick up a board and slide".

Local Police, Civil Guard and the Canary Police will carry out special controls on key days, especially November 29 and 30, to enforce this prohibition on celebrating the popular festivities. The staff of the Icod de los Vinos Council will also carry out rounds to remove any tires that may be placed, without authorization, in the streets. “It is usual that when we put out the tyres, some more appear that young people keep in lots, orchards and classrooms, but this year all those that are in public spaces will be removed. We will be vigilant so that conditions are not created that endanger public safety and health”, warned González.

Icod de los Vinos Council will launch messages in the coming days through the media and social networks to raise awareness, especially among the youngest, that "this year San Andrés cannot be celebrated as usual."

Sunday, November 22, 2020

The 2020 Christmas Season in Tenerife

Christmas delicacies on display in a La Laguna shop window

Christmas everywhere is going to look substantially different this year. The pandemic has changed our way of life; our daily routine is subject to rules and new restrictions; social contact with family, friends, colleagues and neighbors is reduced, where even a hug or a kiss has become a health risk; where capacity in shops, restaurants or cafeterias is limited and opening hours are reduced. It is bound to have a profound impact on Christmas. 

Here are some of the ways Christmas 2020 is going to look a bit different in Tenerife.

Christmas Lights

Arona has this week already turned on its Christmas lights with 1,690 decorations distributed in 28 neighborhoods of the municipality, to brighten up the streets of the neighborhoods of the municipality a bit, all with LED lights, more sustainable and lower consumption.

With regard to the upcoming Christmas holiday, mayor José Manuel Bermúdez, assured that Santa Cruz will have lighting and events appropriate to the circumstances, as well as the Three Wise Men, "although not in the same way [as usual]." The Christmas lights are being illuminated during the discount Black Week at the end of November.

La Laguna is to maintain Christmas lighting and decoration. To help maintain the typical magic of the holidays, the company in charge of public lighting in the municipality, Effico, has been installing Christmas lighting since the end of September, which this year has 2,500 ornamental motifs to be distributed among the six districts. 

In the Calle Heraclio, they are installing a 15-meter tree and 20 tunnel-effect light tubes along the road to attract visitors and consumers. The authorities are working on an alternative to the traditional lighting of Christmas lights and are studying an option to celebrate this popular act with the maximum security guarantees against COVID-19. 

La Laguna has also designed a pedestrian circuit in the busiest streets of the historic center to avoid crowds during the Christmas season, with limitations for vehicles, that currently only take place at weekends, becoming permanent until the festivities end. 

A neighbours' association in Granadilla is urging the council to create an online shopping platform, to compete with large companies, to bring local products to consumers. 

Route of the Nativities

The traditional La Laguna nativity scene contest is canceled this year due to COVID-19.

The Department of Culture and the nativity scene creators have formed a working group to be a cultural reference in the Canary Islands, with improvements planned for next year already. In particular, they are proposing a banner, to create a universal image and mark the the location of these displays. A list and a map will be published with the location of all the nativity scenes. People will be able to obtain stamps as they complete the route and, at the end, a raffle will be held among those who have completed the itinerary.

In addition, in order to contribute to the dissemination of the tradition, despite the circumstances, the nativity scenes of La Laguna will be able to participate in a video that will be used as a promotion for the Nativity Scene Contest next year.

Christmas Concert

The Port Authority of Santa Cruz de Tenerife has decided to cancel the XXVIII edition of the Christmas Concert, which would have been held on the night of December 25. It will be the first time that this Christmas event, held every year since 1994, has been cancelled. Normally, it has brought together thousands of people in the port of Tenerife to enjoy the best classical music live by the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra.

Los Reyes

Covid-19 leaves Santa Cruz without The Three Kings in the Heliodoro Rodríguez López Stadium. However, Fiestas is preparing four cavalcades for the Kings to tour the city. On 5 January, their Majesties will arrive, by helicopter, to the port in Santa Cruz, where they will be handed the keys to the houses of all of the children in the city and then there will be four parades, visiting all five districts of the city, passing through as many streets as possible in Santa Cruz, so that the spectacle can be seen from balconies and from the rooftops. 

The Three Wise Men will also visit the six districts of La Laguna, despite the health crisis. The Department of Festivities prepares the tours of Their Majesties "in a format that avoids crowds" and adjusted to the safety regulations against COVID-19. Unlike previous years, the idea is for the Three Wise Men to visit the families on January 5, touring each of the six districts, and not doing their traditional parade through the Old Town.

In Los Realejos too, the town hall has come to an agreement with The Three Kings, so that, for the first time, they will visit all of the districts of the municipality on 5 January.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Become an assistant to the Magi of the East

Three Kings Illustration: Image by Alejandra Jimenez from Pixabay

The council of Santiago del Teide, in collaboration with charity, Cáritas Diocesana de Canarias, has launched an initiative Conviértete en ayudante de los Reyes Magos de Oriente (Become an assistant to the Three Wise Men of the East), by which those who so wish can sponsor a child's letter to the Three Wise Men, via the Council's Social Services, thus helping to give them hope and happiness typical of these magical dates for the little ones. Anyone who wants to be part of this initiative has until November 27 to contact Social Services, by phone 922 86 31 27, Ext. 200.

In similar vein, the council of Guía de Isora is launching their campaign, "Únete a la magia de la Navidad" (Join the magic of Christmas) looking for people who can sponsor a letter to the Magi written by one of the youngsters of the most needy families in that municipality. Registration is open until December 18, in person and through the internet. Telephone 922 850 100 extensions 3213, 3211 or 3219 and via email menor@guiadeisora.org

In a particularly complicated year for families everywhere, every gesture helps.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Christmas in Santa Cruz starts on the 23rd with ‘Black Week’ and switching on the Christmas lights on Thursday 26th

Lights in the Calle Bethencourt Alfonso, Santa Cruz

More than 250 businesses have, so far, joined the discount campaign, which will begin next Monday and will last until the 30th of this month, with the aim of rescuing the sector from the debacle caused by the COVID pandemic

The commerce sector has all its hopes on the Christmas and Three Kings campaign to recover some of what COVID-19 has taken away from them in this fateful 2020. No revitalization in the streets, with control of capacity and with an island still on red alert due to the spread of the pandemic, the celebration of Black Week, a week of discounts in the, for now, 250 businesses that have signed up for it in Santa Cruz, shows the desire of businesses to start the Christmas campaign in style.

This initiative was presented at the Santa Cruz Town Hall, on Tuesday, which will take place from 23 to 30 this month. The Consistory, in addition to providing support in marketing this week of discounts, will coincide the lighting of Christmas lights with the final part of the week, on Thursday 26th. The mayor of Santa Cruz, José Manuel Bermúdez, explained that “we are aware of the difficulties that the commercial sector is going through, hence we are promoting a campaign that goes beyond a day or a weekend and stressed that it is the fourth edition of an initiative that coincides with the celebration of Black Friday worldwide.

Councilor for Fiestas, Alfonso Cabello, stressed that “Black Week Santa Cruz is the starting signal for the Christmas campaign, one of the most important dates for the commercial sector" and added that, "according to a recent study by Deloitte, the accessories and gifts sector invoices between November and January between 50% and 60% of all annual sales, so it is the most important campaign of the year”. He also recalled that the commercial sector employs almost 22,000 people.

La Navidad en Santa Cruz arranca el día 23 con la ‘Black Week’ y el encendido de luces el 26

Thursday, November 19, 2020

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

First Maid of Honour 2020

First Maid of Honour to the Junior Carnival Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2020 is Allegra Sebbe Repeto with a costume entitled ‘¿Jugamos?’ (Shall we play?), designed by Borja Abreu and represeting La Santa, Tasca Aquí y Ahora and Marisquería Nicomedes.

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

Allegra Sebbe Repetto | Gala Reina Infantil | S/C Tenerife 2020

Tenerife Wines Tasting 16-30 November

One of the traditions observed around San Andrés (St Andrew's Day) in November in Tenerife, are the Catas del Vino: the opening of the new wine. In previous years there have been events such as a Semana de San Andrés - a whole week of events such as technical conferences, workshops, tastings and guided routes through Denominations of Origin in addition to the traditional act of uncorking

This year, between 16 and 30 NovemberLa Casa del Vino de Tenerife (Tenerife Wine Museum), is offering Degustación de Vinos de Tenerife (Tenerife Wines Tasting) - along with other local products, such as cheeses, dried fruits, olive oil, honey and jams. 

Contact the Casa del Vino for more information and to book.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Top 10 Carnivals of the World

Nine of the Top 10 Carnivals of the World

Researching Carnivals of the World for this series has been eye-opening to discover so many more carnivals worldwide than we could ever have imagined. Carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2021 was cancelled because of the pandemic, with only a tribute gala and some audiovisual events to come under the chosen theme of Carnivals of the World. Nevertheless, we've continued to take a tour of the parties (we've been to Notting HillNiceVeniceRio de JaneiroCádizSanta Cruz de La Palma and Cologne), because it's provided a pleasant diversion from the problems we face currently. Any list is bound to be subjective, but here's a look at just ten of them: some we knew and some we didn't.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Commemoration of the Chinyero eruption 2020

Chinyero Volcano Image by Cornelia Schneider-Frank from Pixabay

The Town Hall of Santiago del Teide is commemorating the eruption of the Chinyero Volcano with an event entitled Chinyero-111 – this year is the 111th since the last eruption that began on 18 November 1909 - with activities that will take place from today, Tuesday, November 17, and run until Sunday 22.

The program begins on Tuesday, November 17, at the Tamaimo Social Center, starting at 6:00 p.m., with an educational project “Canarias, una Ventana Volcánica en el Atlántica” (The Canary Islands, a Volcanic Window in the Atlantic), which will feature a screening of the documentary “El Gigante Dormido” (The Sleeping Giant), directed by Pedro Felipe Acosta and produced by the Instituto Volcanológico de Canarias (INVOLCAN)

On Wednesday, November 18, starting at 11:00 am, the commemorative video of the 111th eruption of the Chinyero Volcano will be shown on the council's social networks. From 18:00 hrs, the Tamaimo Social Center will once again host the educational project "The Canary Islands, a Volcanic Window in the Atlantic" with the presentation of a talk "Itinerario geoturístico por los paisajes del Chinyero" (Geotourism itinerary through the landscapes of Chinyero), given by Esther Beltrán-Yanes and Javier Dóniz-Páez, from the University of La Laguna (ULL). (Obviously, in Spanish.) Finally, starting at 6:30 p.m., the council's social networks will screen a video-documentary of the 111th eruption of the Chinyero Volcano.

Thursday, November 19, starting at 6:00 p.m., the educational project "The Canary Islands, a Volcanic Window in the Atlantic" will host the last talk "El fenómeno volcánico y la gestión del riesgo volcánico en Canarias" (The volcanic phenomenon and the management of volcanic risk in the Canary Islands), given by Fátima Rodríguez (again, in Spanish), from the Volcanological Institute of the Canary Islands (INVOLCAN).

And on Friday, November 20, starting at 7:00 p.m., the winners of the XXXIV “Rincones de Santiago 2020” Photography and Painting Contest will be announced through the council's social networks.

Saturday, November 21, starting at 4:00 p.m., the council's social networks will show a commemorative video of the 111th eruption of the Chinyero Volcano.

Finally, on Sunday, November 22, the Church of Santa Ana in Tamaimo will host, starting at 10:30 a.m., a Holy Mass in thanksgiving in honor of Santa Ana on the occasion of the anniversary of the 111th eruption of the Chinyero Volcano and, at 12:00 hrs, the social networks of the council will project the Virtual Rogation of Santa Ana on the occasion of the commemoration of the 111th eruption of the Chinyero Volcano.

Anyone who wishes to obtain more information about the aforementioned cultural program - which will have limited capacity based on the measures established by the health authorities - should contact the council's department of culture, by phone 922 86-31 -27, Ext. 300.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Chicken with chestnuts and Arafo wine

'Tis the season for eating chestnuts

Arafo wine made with the listan blanca (Palomino) grape variety is a wine of the Güimar Valley par excellence, therefore, to make the Chicken with Arafo wine we choose another very special product in Tenerife, the chestnut, for a perfect, comforting, seasonal dish. 

(The Bodega Valle de Güímar has a Tienda (Online Shop) if you can manage Spanish. In English, there is a Listan Blanco from the Bodega Tajinaste in Valle de La Orotava. At a pinch, you could use a Palomino Fino sherry from your favourite local purveyor.)


8 chicken thighs
½ sweet onion
3-4 cloves of garlic
150-200 grams of mushrooms
300 grams of peeled chestnuts
1/4 of Arafero wine (It can be purchased under the D.O. Valle de Güimar)
100 cl of chicken broth
2 sprigs thyme
1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
Some flour


Prepare the chestnuts in advance, as sometimes peeling them is 'entertaining'. (How to Peel Chestnuts With Ease). Clean the chicken thighs, remove the skin and dry them well. Peel the onion and chop it, and give the garlic cloves a bash to release their flavor, but without peeling them. Clean the mushrooms and cut them in half. 

Heat a pan with a splash of extra virgin olive oil and brown the chicken thighs, seasoned to taste. When they are browned on the outside, remove them, add a little more extra virgin olive oil if necessary to poach the onion, and add it keeping the heat at low temperature so that it is poached and candied slowly, add a pinch of salt, and also the garlic cloves.

When the onion is confit, add the mushrooms and chestnuts, give them a couple of turns then add back the chicken, then the wine and the chicken broth, add the thyme sprigs and a little more freshly ground black pepper and bring to a boil.

Once it begins to boil, lower the heat and let the chicken cook for about 30 minutes, first covered and then letting the steam escape so that the sauce reduces. The cooking time can vary depending on how big the chicken thighs are and the heat during cooking. If, when they are done, there is a lot of liquid, dissolve the flour in a little broth and add it to the pan after removing the meat. When you've achieved a creamy sauce, add back the chicken and let it rest for five minutes. If the sauce is too thick, add a little more chicken broth.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Festival of ancient and baroque music returns to Puerto de la Cruz

Festival of ancient and baroque music

This Sunday, November 15, the XVIII Festival de Música Antigua y Barroca (Puerto de la Cruz Ancient and Baroque Music Festival) is resumed, organized by the Reyes Bartlet Cultural Association, which had to be postponed in March due to the state of alarm.

Membra Jesu Nostri de Buxtehude, performed by an ensemble formed by a quintet of Catalan singers, accompanied by three Canarian instrumentalists; Irene Mas and Brenda Sara (sopranos), Daniel Folqué (alto), Ferran Mitjans (tenor), Víctor Vilca (baritone), Diego Pérez (cello), Giovanni Déniz and Laura Díaz (violins) and directed by the organist and director Marc Díaz, will be the first concert of this second part that will take place from 8 pm in the Anglican Church, of course, with all current sanitary measures.

The concerts will continue this coming Wednesday, as well as Sunday of this next week, leaving for the last weekend of November a special tribute to Beethoven for his anniversary, supported by Global Piano Studio. In addition, virtual tours will be carried out by Lhorsa who will explain what the Port was like in baroque times.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Vote for the Tenerife Carnival 2021 Poster

The 10 finalists for the 2021 Carnival Poster

Carnival in 2021 may only consist of a tribute gala and some audiovisual events, but it's still going to have a poster and you can vote online for your favourite from the ten finalists

The Santa Cruz de Tenerife City Council, on Wednesday of this week, opened the voting period for the official Carnival 2021 poster, under the theme of 'Carnivals of the World'. Voting will remain open until November 30. The process will be secret, but you need to provide an email address (only Gmail accounts) to cast your vote.

These are the titles of the ten finalists: 
  • Navegando al carnaval (Navigating to Carnival)
  • La vuelta al mundo en 80 Carnavales (Around the world in 80 carnivals)
  • Santa Cruz, epicentro del carnaval mundial (Santa Cruz, epicenter of world carnival)
  • Mujer (Woman)
  • La importancia del color (The importance of color)
  • Los cinco continentes descubren el carnaval santacrucero más internacional (The five continents discover the most international carnival in Santa Cruz)
  • Eclipse lunar (Lunar Eclipse)
  • Desde Santa Cruz de Tenerife para el mundo (From Santa Cruz de Tenerife to the world)
  • Una noche de carnavales del mundo (A night of Carnivals in the world)
  • Los mejores carnavales del mundo (The best carnivals in the world)

Friday, November 13, 2020

Tenerife increases COVID-19 restrictions and implements 'rule of six' for 14 days

Tenerife increases COVID-19 restrictions

Tenerife will limit meetings to six people for 14 days

Tenerife residents will only be able to meet, both publicly and privately, in groups of 6 people and will see the most empty bars and restaurants for the next two weeks. The Governing Council of the Canary Islands has approved the reduction of the number of people who can meet in groups to a maximum of 6 people - until now it was 10 - and has limited the capacity of most of the public spaces to one third indoors and 50% outdoors. These restrictions will remain in force for the next 14 days from their publication in the Official Gazette of the Canary Islands (BOC), which they expect to be published between today and Saturday.

People who for health reasons cannot wear a mask are prohibited from going to closed places or mass events and only essential mobility is recommended.

Restaurants to close at 11pm and terraces limited to 50% capacity

The Canarian Executive recommends "avoiding closed spaces", although "classes will continue normally" with "maximum" vigilance. 

In the restaurant sector, the capacity of bars is reduced to a third of the maximum, closing time is at 11 pm and the capacity on the terrace will be half the usual.

Smoking is prohibited on terraces, the capacity in tourist establishments drops to a third in common areas, active tourism groups drop to 20, commercial premises will have a capacity of half and visits will be prohibited in student residences.

Recreational, youth or neighbor centers will be closed. In companies, the capacity in common areas will be one third, promoting virtual meetings; cinemas, theaters, museums or archives also one third indoors or 50 percent of the capacity outdoors.

Places of worship have capacity reduced to a third as well, with no services allowed outside. The capacity at wakes also goes to one third, at cremations there cannot be more than 5 people and the capacity and number of people at weddings and celebrations are reduced.

The beaches will have a maximum capacity of 50 percent, groups of 6 people maximum, while markets will also operate at half capacity and with delimited spaces.

Canarias aumenta restricciones de aforo y horarios en Tenerife durante un mínimo de 14 días

Thursday, November 12, 2020

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

Third Maid of Honour: Judith Miguélez Díaz

Third Maid of Honour to the Carnival Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2020 was Judith Miguélez Díaz, with ‘Mararía’ (Mararía (1973) is the most famous novel by the Spanish Canarian writer Rafael Arozarena) by Daniel Pages sponsored by McDonald’s and newspaper El Día

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

Judith Miguelez Díaz | Gala Reina del Carnaval | S/C Tenerife 2020