Welcome to Tenerife festivals... The heart warming smiles given to the Tenerife holiday home insider are typical for the people of the island.
In fact, most English speaking tourists of 2017 (this includes Germans) don't even know what a Playa (beach) is. This is shocking, indeed. How expect them to know what Romerias are? Hence, better call them festivals to help them find them online.
Romerias are the best, not withstanding the fact that some performers or by-standers have taken a fair share of Vino before everything even started. However, everybody's joy and fun is more than remarkable.
During most of these festivals, window and balcony decorations are part of the celebrations. Rugs and fabric banners are hung on them. But that's not all.
You discover earthen ware pots, metal containers, Gofio wheels, baskets, cooking utensils, you name it. Casa de los Balcones Orotava is the champion decorator, as seen above.
Indeed, some municipalities take the religious part of the Romeria more seriously.
You may notice this in Los Realejos a neighbor of la Orotava.
By the way, there you also see enchanting horse scenes during its parade that is part of important May festivals.
Also, you discover that a Romeria even has a queen and princesses.
Romerias are a mixture of Guanche and Pegan Tenerife traditions. Often, they seem to have little in common with the Latin term pilgrimage where the name comes from.
Most probably, they also date back to ancient Celtic rituals from Mainland Spain.
Look at the small wagon with 2 oxen. It's a tiny one.
You see a
young woman approaching one of the beasts. She was not shy during this Tenerife Romeria of Realejo Alto that has now become a rather important tourist event.
Traces of Romeria celebration music and musical instruments prove the touch of Guanche influence in them. The rhythmic clapping of the Chacas give that rather exotic impression most. Usually, they are used by the women.
A bit of Cuban and Puerto Rican also adds its touch. Understand this better by reading up on the Tenerife history Santa Cruz capital and island.
Besides, this is said clearly on a CD, I have of the most famous Tenderete folk music band, Los Sabandenos. Tenderete music is part of Tenerife festivals, when they are Romeria Fiestas.
You see a true cinema stage-set, almost a Hollywood film stage with the next picture, if I may say so. Isn't it great when everything is in such fantastic harmony? Such a great match?
One Tenerife Romeria Los Realejos is called Romeria Chica. Its date is 15th of May and the other's is last Sunday in May.
Festival Romeria Chica is for the locals. The alternative is for tourists.
The parades during Los Realejos Romerias go up and down the higher part called Realejos Alto. Especially hard on the oxen that must pull heavy carts, such as festival floats...
Tractors were used in some previous years. They spoil the show. However, extra men who walk beside to guide the beautifully decorated animals or to help push may be needed.
There are two that you see. They have a job and are hired out to all harvest festivals. It spares them the premature fate of other beast.
The Realejos man with a real pig's head drew much attention of amazed disbelief.
Leave your car at home or outside the town centers... Take a taxi
to catch Romeria action... Or take a bus from Puerto de la Cruz to the
Realejos Romeria and follow on from La Orotava with bus Titsa no.370 to
From there it means a walk back of perhaps 15-20 minutes.
However, mind the new Romeria compromise by Puerto de la Cruz as follows:
Watch the Romeria Orotava of Tenerife festivals on the level road by the bridge, at the main town square or anywhere by the main road La Carretera. It's one of best Tenerife festivals to celebrate harvests. About € 2 buy you a seat, there.
There is no monotony, as there is always action, until the next float appears. Tinerfeños of any age create it. There is much jumping, singing and clapping of Chacas. Often dancers move in circles. You see each and every Tenderete instrument played by the folk musicians that follow suite.
Fetch local red wine, served out of barrels attached to floats. Believe
me, the wine flows merrily...
Gather free food, such as meat, Papas Arrugadas, Guanche Gofio, white
bread, in short the traditional Tenerife cuisine on the go. It's
prepared on attached grills in the rear of Romeria wagons. Not
always easy when the vehicles move... Mind this is rather a gesture. It wouldn't feed a town.
Those were the Chaxiraxi Beñesmer festivals for sports competitions and dance. Then, some of the bounty of the harvest of the earth was shared with all.
I saw a mother with a pram during such Tenerife festivals. She
had it covered with sack cloth. Even small children are often dressed in
typical Romeria outfit. Looking the part is very important during
festivities of Romerias, anywhere on the island.
Wear a custom Romeria outfit. Consequently, the warm friendly people will welcome you with open arms. You can even take part in the street dance.
All are extremely colorful both for Romerias and Carnival.
Palm leaves often cover the tops of Romeria floats, wagons or
carts. There, all sorts of rustic country utensils from cookware to
agricultural tools trail from them. Dried melons, grains, garlic,
onions, peppers, lemons, oranges, bananas, pumpkins, cabbages and more
hang on the wagons. Some produce is in baskets.
Also flowers add their touch.
School headmasters and teachers in Los Realejos and Puerto de la Cruz want pupils to take part in Tenerife festivals of Romerias with proper custom outfits. I was told so by Elke Heidenfeld a friend of my neighborhood.
Romeria clothes cost about as much as those for a first Communion. Expect an expense of about €100. Even made in China isn't cheap.
All towns have a slightly different Romeria dress code. At least as far as schools are concerned. Different guilds are supposed to follow their own rules. The costume of a judge is real smart with expensive materials. Those that belong to the fisherman guild look humble. They often wear mainly brown and black.
Mothers of school going girls are encouraged to hire folklore dresses for them. Cost? About € 30 (dress only). For example, the shop El Molino Artensania, for Tenerife festivals caters for Tenerife folklore gear to buy or rent. Find it depicted beside. It's in Orotava's main street just before the town hall. It's in La Carretera that's lined with dark red poles.
The Romeria San Isodro Labrador or Agricula is the main festival of La Orotava besides Corpus Christi.
Labrador which means laborer stand for all workers, especially, farm workers.
La Orotava Romeria Labrador was introduced at the beginning of June in XVII. It always takes place by the middle of June.
Romerias always start in church, such as la Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de Concepción in La Orotava. Sometimes, breath taking folk dance begins by its door steps.
Learn about Tenerife carnival where Magos feature, a group of whom also takes part.
By the way, folk dance as part of Tenerife folklore is always an element of Romeria festivals in the Orotava, Puerto Cruz and the Realejos regions.
Also, admire a rather novelty event of El Medano folk dance festival where Tenerife folklore by several of its island regions is portrayed very well.
The following video of La Orotava presents typical Tenderete music and shows Romeria folklore celebrations at their best.
The long lost and found Agatha Christie note books and tapes by expert Mr John Curran were not the only additional high light of the event. Amusement for children followed. By the looks of it, the celebrations for Agatha Christie who has been a town daughter of Puerto Cruz since the 1920ies will remain one of best Tenerife festivals in many years to come. She was part of prominent people at the Taoro Hotel in the Puerto Cruz Taoro Park. Unfortunately, only the old church Ermita San Amaro remains of the area in La Paz which featured in her thriller The man from the sea. A bust of the British writer is on the restored square opposite the Ermita.
More about events in honor of the famous British fan of Puerto de la Cruz, the theater companies and all its festival events at Tel: 34 + 922 388777
A yearly Festival of contemporary modern music at Teatro Guimera in January in the Tenerife capital since 1997
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