Photo: La Orotava Ayuntamiento.
Updated 21 June 2017: Yesterday, La Orotava’s principal Corpus Christi carpet in the plaza in front of the Ayuntamiento was unveiled for all to see. Tomorrow is the main day for the town’s sand carpet displays but from today they are on show to the public in all their glory.
Updated 26 April 2017: I’m always asked well in advance about the Corpus Christi carpets in La Orotava, so for those who want to make plans to see La Orotava’s Corpus Christi carpets this year, 2017’s display will be on Thursday, 22 June. The making of the famous alfombras form part of La Orotava’s fiestas patronales, the whole celebration being in honour of Corpus Christi, San Isidro Labrador and Santa María de La Cabeza, and the day of the carpets is one of La Orotava’s two municipal public holidays. The actual festival, however, lasts from 15 May to 25 June! The full programme is HERE, full of images and descriptions of this year’s main carpet at the town hall and the route of carpets that will form the town’s main displays. It also has detailed itineraries of all the events of the entire fiesta.
Updated 1 June 2016: La Orotava Ayuntamiento has released the above photo of the carpet which is now finished and open to be viewed by the public. It will be on display until 5 June, with the main day for the religious rituals on the 2nd.
Updated 28 May: Just a reminder that perhaps the most famous Corpus Christi carpet display is going to be open to the public from Tuesday. As can be seen from the live webcam HERE, the work is almost complete ready to be unveiled.
Updated 18 May: The construction of the carpet is well underway and the live webcam to follow its development is HERE. The full program of religious events for Corpus Christi has already started but the main events of the festivities, which will involve the carpets on display, take place between 31 May and 5 June, with the principal day being Thursday, 2 June, which is a public holiday for Corpus Christi in La Orotava municipality (see HERE). There is more inormation about the whole thing from La Orotava Ayuntamiento HERE.
Updated 4 April: The design for this year’s carpet has been presented today, and the theme is compassion, encompassing not just biblical scenes, but modern social ones like the current refugee crisis, a conscious message, says the Ayuntamiento, of solidarity, helping the weak and needy, education and self-criticism with what is happening today.
The modern elements of the carpet are at the sides, with missionary nun Angélique Namaika on the left, shown teaching, and an anonymous scene of refugees on the right, with Pope Francis opening the “Mercy” door of Santa Maria Maggiore. The main central part depicts the return of the Prodigal Son as portayed by Spanish Baroque artist Bartolomé Esteban Murillo.
The full program of events for Corpus Christi in La Orotava starts on 13 May, but the main events of the festivities, which will involve the carpets on display, take place between 31 May and 5 June. Twenty alfombristas will work for forty days to bring the design to life.
The carpets are world famous, and have held the Guinness World Record for the largest ephemeral carpet display in the world since 2006. Every year there is something different and spectacular, with the designs made into carpets with coloured earth from the Teide National Park. As always, there will be a webcam showing the carpets coming to fruition, and I’ll post a link in due course.
Updated 4 February 2016: I’m always asked well in advance about this, so for those who want to make plans to see La Orotava’s Corpus Christi carpet displays this year, this year the festival will be celebrated on 2 June, with the carpets on display from 31 May to 5 June (link). The carpets are world famous, and have held the Guinness World Record for the largest ephemeral carpet display in the world since 2006. Every year there is something different and spectacular, with the designs made into carpets with coloured earth from the Teide National Park. As always, there will be a webcam showing the carpets coming to fruition, and I’ll post a link in due course.
Update 28 April 2015: This year’s design is based on the theme of the family. The Corpus Christi display in the town this year will be between 9 and 14 June, and a webcam HERE shows that the preparatory work has already started in the plaza in front of the Ayuntamiento, the traditional place for the main carpet.
Update 25 June 2014: It’s La Orotava’s big day tomorrow, but for those who would like to see the beautiful salt carpets but who can’t get up to the town, the council has installed a live webcam HERE. It’s already showing the carpet, finished ready for its formal unveiling tomorrow.
Update 5 May 2014: This year’s Corpus Christi in La Orotava is set for 26 June, with the Word of God through Jesus as the theme. Such is the effort that goes into these displays that work on the central part of the main carpet starts today. It will be finished on 25 June, the day before the Corpus Christi celebration itself. The carpet in front of the Ayuntamiento will be made by 23 alfombristas under the direction of Domingo González Expósito. Over 1,000 kilos of coloured soil divided from Las Cañadas will be used in its composition.
Update 6 June 2013: Here is a photo of this year’s main carpet in front of the town hall in La Orotava. Beautiful!
Update 5 June: With many people planning to visit the town tomorrow to see the carpets, the official programme for La Orotava’s Corpus Christi is HERE. Tomorrow is an all-day event starting at 7am with bell chimes and a Mass. The carpets, of course, are a “marathon photographic” event! I hope everyone who goes has a marvellous time and I’ll happily publish any photos if anyone would like.
Update 29 April 2013: 2013’s Corpus Christi in La Orotava is set for 6 June, with Faith as the theme for this year’s carpet display. The end result will be primarily red and white, and use some 1,250 kilos of coloured soil divided into five sections. Two will be primarily floral, and the three main sections of the triptych will illustrate the resurrection, the doubt of St Thomas, and the ascension, as in the drawing above, presented recently by La Orotava Ayuntamiento.
Update 9 June 2012: This year’s carpets display in La Orotava’s Corpus Christi takes place on 14 June, with the sand carpets inspired this year by the theme of faith, symbolized in the central panel by Jesus praying, the depiction framed by a six-pointed star. The left panel shows Moses receiving the ten commandments, and in the right panel Abraham offers his son Isaac for sacrifice. Above is a video off youtube from last year which gives a good flavour of what it’s like.
Update 13 June 2011: It’s that time again, and the creation of 2011’s sand carpets in La Orotava can now be followed on a dedicated blog HERE. It’s in Spanish, German and English. It can also be followed on Facebook HERE, or on twitter with hashtags #corpusvilla, #corpuslaorotava, and @alfombristas. The list of activities can be seen on the Ayuntamiento website HERE, and the full programme downloaded HERE.
The main carpets this year show scenes from Christ’s passion. The right carpet depicts the Piedad from Annibal Carraci (1600); the left one the Flagellation of Christ from William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1880); and the main central carpet the Crucification of Christ from Diego Velazquez (1632).
Adeje also has a marvellous Corpus Cristi carpet display, and information about this year’s on 25 June is available from the Ayuntamiento website HERE.
The video above is a presentational one, and gives a good idea of what to expect.
Original post 24 May 2010: It’s Corpus Christi time again, and the main carpet for the La Orotava display is already taking shape. Last year’s is pictured above, and as always was absolutely stunning. This year, the display is on 10 June, and as usual will be in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento. A total of 17 alfombristas and 7 students are collaborating on the work, which is designed and directed by González Expósito. On 10 June, 870 of the Plaza’s 950 square metres will be covered in a stunning 41.5 x 21 metre carpet composed of 1,400 kilos of earth of 23 colours, the principal theme of which will be the Last Supper.