Corpus Christi Carpets

Día de las Alfombras 2007 
YearCorpus Christi Día de las Alfombras
2010 3 June 10 June
2011 23 June 30 June
2012 7 June 14 June
2013 30 May 6 June
2014 19 June 26 June
2015 4 June 11 June
2016 26 May 2 June
2017 15 June 22 June
2018 31 May 7 June
2019 20 June 27 June
2020 11 June 18 June
2021 3 June 10 June
2022 16 June 23 June
 Every year on the "octava" (eighth day) of Corpus Christi - i.e. the following Thursday after the date of the religious feast - the northern Tenerife town of La Orotava celebrates its Día de las Alfombras (Carpet Day), when, since 1846, these carpets of sand and flowers have been made in the streets as a traditional part of the celebrations.

La Laguna also celebrates this, as do most towns and villages on the island - very many making carpets with dyed salt, rather than flowers - but La Orotava is the biggest and best and was the island's first to do so.

La Orotava families, many still with the same surnames since the 15th Century conquest of Tenerife, start making the flower carpets from the early hours of "carpet day."

Late morning to early afternoon is the best time to see them whilst they're still being worked on by the artists, but are virtually complete, so one is able to visualize the finished article. That is when it's at its most busy too, so a slow walk round with stops for much needed refreshments are the best plan of action.

The central sand carpet - created entirely using sand and soil from Teide National Park - in the square in front of the town hall (pictured above) made the Guinness World Record for Largest Sand Painting; the 859.42 square meter "alfombra" or carpet of sand created in La Orotava in Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain) in June 2007.

In the early evening the procession walks all over these ephemeral carpets and destroys them, so the "window of opportunity" to see them is very short. Don't miss them, because even if you have no religious interest, as works of art, they are breathtaking and for once I wish we had the ability to produce "smellyvision", because, if the sight of them is magnificent, then the aroma of tons of toasted plant material and the plethora of petals is close to hypnotic in itself.

For a better explanation, read: Guide to the Corpus Christi Flower Carpets in La Orotava


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