Photo: Arona Ayuntamiento.
Updated 26 November: In the end, the weather won. Santa Cruz has had high winds and especially rain today and so the switching on of the Christmas lights was postponed until 7pm Saturday, weather conditions permitting.
Updated 25 November: Santa Cruz will be turning on its Christmas ilghts tomorrow 26 November with some 140 streets and plazas illuminated by around three million LED bulbs, the council has said. They will be turned on in stages between tomorrow and 5 December. The council has also announced that the central feature of the fiestas at Christmas in the Canaries, the arrival of Sus Majestades Los Reyes Magos, will be very different this year BUT the Kings will still visit children! They have magic keys, after all, presented to them each year by the mayors of each municipio, and although their parades will be very much smaller, there will be no shortage of gifts for good children on the morning of 6 January … nor of the traditional lumps of coal for naughty little people either! Finally (so far!), it’s been announced that the Plaza de España in Santa Cruz itself will be the base for the nationally televised Fin de Año Campanadas (New Year chimes). The full programme for Santa Cruz’s Christmas is HERE and I’ll put it and any others as a header to the post for easy reference.
While here can I just address the “how many can get together” question which is now starting to be asked. We already know the answer: in the Canaries as a whole groups are limited to ten, while in Tenerife specifically we are alone in these islands under Special Measures and now even Further Restrictions and so groups are limited to six. If there is any change to this situation it will be announced and I’ll be reporting it in more than one post on this website! For the moment, however, assume six because that is the current rule, and it’s unlikely to change for Christmas because, as my new and amended little homily goes, covid safety is for life (literally), not just for Christmas …
Original post 20 November: Well it’ll be different this year for many of us, and however we celebrate it in our many and various ways, it won’t be “normal”! At least people’s Christmas dinners in London will be safe from interruption as Cressida Dick promises that the Met won’t be barging in to stop people hugging and sitting too close as they pull their crackers, and Robbie Williams has released a Can’t Stop Christmas record … and indeed the festival will come and go whether we wanted to stop it or not!
And so, here’s this year’s Christmas thread for all the things that are happening and can actually happen in Tenerife this Navidad. It’s already started, with Arona turning on the Christmas lights yesterday in the 28 barrios (neighbourhoods) of the municipio, and mayor Mena expressing the hope that this atypical Christmas will still have meaning for us all, helped by the life and colour brought to the towns and villages by the lights and some 1,700 decorations. Mena also called on everyone to shop locally this Christmas, an annual call of course, but this year the need is all the greater to support the little businesses who don’t have the wealth and clout of huge chains behind them in these terrible economic times.
Keep safe this Christmas. The virus won’t be having a break but it might make a merry fiesta with us as victims if we don’t innovate and find a way of celebrating this Christmas differently, and as hopefully a one-off. Sanidad says it’s imperative – vital and urgent – that we carry on with our distancing, hand washing, face mask wearing, and general care of our own personal safety. It’s the best way perhaps to end this appalling year and usher in a new year with our best foot forward. Stay safe all, and I’ll update this post as and when other things are announced.