All photos: Janet Anscombe.
It’s the romeria season again, and it doesn’t much matter what the origins are, whether they’re pre-Christian, pagan, or Catholic – certainly they are always now associated with a saint – what actually matters is that they are an occasion for a town to come together to share traditions: religion, music, dance … and food! “Platitos” are handed out liberally, and walking along the street one can find a “little plate” of carne fiesta with hard boiled egg, papas arrugadas with mojo, a bread roll, and, of course, a cup of wine, thrust into your hand, all provided throughout the summer by the ayuntamiento of whichever borough’s saint is enjoying its seasonal romería.
The procession, which involves dancers, donkeys, horses and, above all, carts – pulled by Canarian oxen and staffed by locals handing out food and wine – is followed by the overwhelming majority of the municipality’s residents, many in traditional dress, and of course visitors, tourists and residents from neighbouring areas. It itself is followed in the evening by a dance in the main square of the county town. The pictures below are from Guía de Isora’s Romeria de San Isidro Labrador last year, and it will be held again a week on Sunday, 15 May. The town of San Isidro’s Romeria is this Sunday, 8 May, and Arguayo’s will be held on the 14th. The Romería del Santísimo Cristo del Valle de Arriba, in Santiago del Teide, will be a fortnight later, over the last weekend of May. Wherever you experience a romeria, though, you’ll have a fabulous time!