Update 1 September: Just a reminder that Los Cristianos’ Virgen del Carmen fiesta begins today and will last until 8 September. The most public event will be the fireworks, which will be let off from three points on the beach after the procession of the virgin’s statue and a religious mass from 8pm on Sunday 7th. The event will start in Church Square, and make its way to the harbour via Avda Los Playeros, the cultural centre, Calle Amalia Alayón, Avda. Los Playeros again, then the Paseo Marítimo (Av. Juan Afonso Bautista), to the old harbour.

Update 30 July: Virgen del Carmen fiestas are held throughout Tenerife all through the summer. Guía de Isora has just released the programme for the one in Playa san Juan, which starts today. Please click on the image above to see it full size. Los Cristianos’ will be 1-8 September.

Copyright: Chuck Urmson
Copyright: Chuck Urmson

Original post 18 June: It’s midsummer, and Tenerife is pretty much on holiday now from now and through July and August, and over these next two months or so throughout the island there is a series of fiestas honouring the Virgen del Carmen – the Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel who is the patron saint of fishermen. Perhaps the biggest celebration is in Puerto de la Cruz where tens of thousands will congregate on 15 July, whereas Los Cristianos’ celebration is particularly popular in the south – this year’s is 1-8 September. The same will take place, however, in most coastal towns and villages, albeit on a smaller scale. The fiesta almost always involves a religious service followed by a ritual march with the Virgin’s statue being carried to the sea accompanied by musical bands and locals often in traditional dress. It is then loaded into a boat which sails around a harbour or stretch of coastline to bless local fishermen and their catches for the coming year. The event ends with the inevitable fireworks, and music, dancing and food – which last throughout the following three or so days, usually over a long weekend, though some, like Santiago del Teide’s, last a fortnight!. Inland, the Virgen del Carmen is honoured for protecting and preserving the fertilility of Tenerife’s volcanic soil and its agricultural productivity. Our own village fiesta is in July, and I’ve posted descriptions of the utter chaos before, including how we are given our own bomberos truck which parks at the top of our little mountain road, and about the time they set our neighbour’s house on fire … see HERE, it’s called “Helmets and hosepipes time” for very good reason! Last year, one of the Catherine Wheels came loose and rolled down the hill, very much alight, chased by several fireworks “technicians” in something of a panic. There is a photo of one of the Catherine Wheels above, and more images from last year’s display HERE. I’ll post dates for the more popular ones as and when I come across them. For the moment, Santiago del Teide has announced theirs as 3-17 July: click on the following thumbnails to see the programme fullsize. Wherever you watch or participate in this year’s Virgen del Carmen fiestas, have a great time!

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