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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.