Spanish traditions are generally deeply rooted and yet again much respected in all regions of Spain.
San Christóbal de la Laguna, photos of which emphasize holidays with romance, delivers an ideal backstage for dramatic spectacles. Such public undertakings are not only meant to show off something. Their cult serves Spanish customs also in the name of Catholic faith. The fact that it is united in the case of la Laguna by guilds or brotherhoods of all sorts of interests, is good for the second largest town of of the biggest Canary Island .
One of those guilds is named Cofradia de Misericordia (brotherhood of compassion) in Spanish. It was once linked to charity work and financial support for the first hospital of La Laguna. This pioneering brotherhood with 30 brothers had helped with the administration of said Hospital de los Dolores under the management of Juan de Oñate from 1519 onwards. The guild was reinstated and truly revived on July first of 1952, after it had been dormant for a long time after the Middle Ages.
By the way, contrary to some classic Spain brotherhoods such as some clubs for friendships in Tenerife, the guilds of San Christóbal de la Laguna Tenerife are still closely knit with the Roman Catholic church. This makes the institution of the church of the Vatican one of major players in Spanish traditions of Tenerife.
It is important to note in this context that the Santo Domingo convent or Convento de Santo Domingo de la Concepción, the dwellings of which are in ruins nowadays, still belongs to the parish of La Laguna. Therefore, it is now custom that the Tenerife main bishop is leading on the Magna procession on Good Friday in La Laguna.
Enjoy this following video of the Magna 2010, when different guilds and even children took part...
Spanish traditions by Magna procession
There are several traditional Easter processions which start on Palm Thursday, while La Magna is most popular with families and tourists.
Not only Tenerife has Easter customs with hooded men. I saw a scary Easter march in Vigo on mainland Spain in 2001. There, the hooded guys looked almost identical to those of Tenerife. Therefor, it may be hard to know who has invented those Spanish traditions of solemn Easter parades.
Please note that the Magna La Laguna of 2016 will take place at 5 p.m. on March 25.
Men with long dark capes trot toward or past you. Pointy tall purple hoods or just black ones leave no flesh between the torso, nor do they reveal a human face. Sometimes a white robe is worn underneath. Ku Klux slits mock the location of eyes. Bar hands hold sturdy timber sticks which look like being an inch thick. They uniformly point towards the central empty road space between the heavy looking marchers.
All that timber forms almost a menacing military pattern of a sphalanx.
Monotonous drum beat echoes between ancient houses on narrow cobble streets. It sounds less threatening, when it reaches the town square Plaza del Adelantado de Lugo, who was a founder of first Cofradias brotherhoods of La Laguna.
Following Spanish traditions by brotherhood Easter celebrations of more than half a century, a procession which is called the silent one at 10 p.m. repeats everything except for the sounds.
By the way, the same procession takes place in Puerto de la Cruz at
5p.m. already. There, the sinister men and women wear blue robes and hoods
with white capes. It starts at Church Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de Peña Francia.
In La Laguna, some perceive it as even more spooky when rustic sticks light up the way. Some pedestrian passages near the cathedral are almost pitch dark. Just like I found them around Christmas in 2009...
Such a climate aggravates feelings of time gone by. Wouldn't you think of scenes of the opera Hunchback of Notre Dame and of French revolution conspiracies by Montmartre Paris?
Contrary to all this, just figure another aspect of those traditions. In fact, many of the sinister looking creatures of the same hooded brotherhoods are much involved in social work for the very poor and needy of La Laguna town...
Watch those enormous trophies of baroque church artefacts from the old Dominican convent when they appear at intervals between the Cofrades...
The eclestical treasures, many of which originate from Convento Santo Domingo are turned street art every year, when the brotherhoods carry them through the old Casco of La Laguna town.
Another Laguna cofradia has brothers who walk barefoot. They drag a giant cross to mimic the struggle to Mount Golgata.
Art images or sculptures of street Easter displays are always meant to stir compassion for Christ's suffering with locals as well as with tourists. The Virgen Mary of the Catholic faith is also taken out to the street as part of Spanish traditions during Fiesta del Carmen as well as during other church festivals.
These Adeje events of Viernes Santa the Holy Easter Friday have become an important tradition. They are so popular that they are now broadcast by the National television by the year. Mind that they are performed by amateurs only.
Another less gloomy, but grotesque custom of worshiping street art is the fiesta of the sardine. Its mock burial on the ocean takes place after parading the huge artificial sardine through the roads as part of the Carnival tradition of Tenerife. All ends with great fun.
To the contrary of Easter, Christmas which find under photos in the navigation bar reveals many Spain Tenerife traditions which are bright and cheerful without any gloom.
Return from Spanish traditions to Tenerife fiestas and find open air Theater Arona Easter plays of Adeje, Corpus Cristie street art, carnival attractions, the Fiesta San Vincente and much more.