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Candelmas and the Virgin of Candelaria

Las Candelas candlelight procession on February 1st. Image: Ayuntamiento de Candelaria.

Virgen de Candelaria
Every year, 2 February, a Public Holiday in Tenerife, sees events in honour of the Virgen de la Candelaria (Virgin of Candelaria), the patron of the Canary Islands.

The Candelmas Procession on the night of 1 February, is when the lights of the town are switched off for worshippers to take part in the candlelit procession. In the middle of the 5th century the celebration was known as the "Festival of lights". It is not known when the candlelight processions related to this festival began, but they were already celebrated with solemnity in the 10th century.

In the afternoon the Eucharist is offered and then the procession of the Candelas (Candlelight Procession) is carried out, after being blessed, with the passage of the Virgin of Candelaria, escorted by a multitude of candles, through the streets of Obispo Pérez Cáceres and Los Princes, returning again to its altar, where the solemn acts of the Candelaria festivity will take place the next day.

The Fiesta de la Candelaria (Candlemas) begins with a Civic Procession with the transfer of the coat of arms of La Villa to the Basilica of Candelaria, presided over by the mayor of Candelaria, accompanied by the local Corporation.

Festive in Tenerife

The festival of La Candelaria, Las Candelas or La Luz (Candlemas) - despite not being the island's patron saint, which is the Virgen de Los Remedios - has been a holiday on the island of Tenerife since 2004. Hundreds of pilgrims attend the traditional procession of Las Candelas or on the day of the Virgin itself.

Although the arrival of pilgrims and faithful is lower than that of August 15, it's also a great day for Candelaria, a municipality that owes its name to that wood carving that found the Guanches on the beach of Chimisay, in Güímar. Since then, Candelaria has lived inextricably attached to this religious image, so much so that a good part of its commerce and restaurants are associated with the presence of the Patron Saint, who today will wear one of her spectacular, richly decorated light blue cloaks. The Virgin of Candelaria celebrates two great festivals (February 2 and August 15). It was from 1714, as a result of the death of five women at the summit in the cold, when the pilgrimage of the faithful was moved to August, according to the official chronicler of the municipality, Octavio Rodríguez.

Tenerife Land of Eternal Christmas

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