Holidays and Festivals in Tenerife

Playa de la Arena Festival

During the summer months, the locals do celebrate a number of fiestas and festivals.  It can be a loud time, with al fresco dancing and music until the early hours.  If you are staying in a quiet resort, such as Playa de la Arena, don’t forget to check out when the fiesta is, just in case it coincides with your vacation.

El Medano in the town square has the good fortune of holding many fiestas during the summer and also has a firework display across the bay once a year.  The square is popular as there are many bars, cafes and restaurants, with plenty of tapas bars to choose from too.  During the summer weekends, this resort does become extremely busy, with the attraction of the beaches, fabulous facilities, and sports that are on offer.

Carnival Of Santa Cruz

The Carnival Of Santa Cruz is an absolute must if you are on the island during the 19th February to the 5th March 2017.  Firstly the Carnival Queen, Junior Carnival Queen and Queen’s Court Elections take place.  Once these Elections are over and it has been decided who is to take these elaborate positions a parade takes place to start the Carnival.

There are none stop shows, stalls and kiosks are set up for refreshments, and the opening Fiesta that is a very grand event starts.  There are music, rhythm and colour.  This Carnival is celebrated in every town and village on Tenerife, however, Santa Cruz Carnival, is renowned for being the best of the celebrations.    There are street performances, and the area can become exceptionally crowded, during this time.

They also have a traditional burial of the Sardine.  The Sardine is made from old clothes; it is then carried through the streets on a float, with mourners, pregnant men, yes men, and widows who are extremely upset.  However, this behaviour doesn’t last too long.   Once the burial is over, everyone soon gets back into the party spirit and the lively music and entertainment commence.

Tenerife Walking Festival

The Tenerife Walking Festival took place this year from 29th March to 2nd April.  It is a set of 15 challenging walks in the Anaga Mountains and the Teide National Park.  One of the challenges is walking to the summit of Teide Mountain.  There is also the opportunity of a night walk seeing the starlight sky and the Roques de Garcia that have exquisite shapes of the rock formation.

The cost is €20.00 for the walking festival.  For this amazing price, you receive a neck scarf, a rucksack, a bracelet, a welcome pack and an external battery.  If you wish to do an additional walk, it will cost you €25.00 however, for the price you get the services of a guide and transport to the and from the starting point.

It is recommended that if you are not an experienced fell walker then you really should use the services of a guide.  Although Tenerife is a beautifully warm island, the mountain range, like all mountains is susceptible to drawing in a thick low cloud.  If you are unfamiliar with the terrain, this can be quite dangerous.  There are also steep ravines, and very uneven pathways, where you need to use extreme caution.

During March and April, it can still get quite cold up nearer to the tops of the mountain range.   You need to ensure that you have sufficient and practical outdoor clothing and footwear, including a supply of food and drink.

Corpus Christi Flower Carpets

The Corpus Christi Flower Carpets held in La Orotava, a beautiful town, in the north of Tenerife, hold an amazing festival every year.  It attracts tens of thousands of people to look at and admire the carpets or alfombras, as they are known as by the locals.

The carpets are thousands of petals of flowers and the locals make their own individual carpets from them.  The carpets really are magnificent. They actually create an art version of them, just like a painting you would see in an art gallery exhibition.  What’s even more amazing is that they use the sand and the soil from the Teide National Park, to design the main centrepiece, of the carpet.  This is absolutely breathtaking and takes so much skill, time and dedication.

The whole family including the children gets together to make the carpets.  The scent and smell are delightful and awakens all of your senses and smells.  They travel through the town in the same direction with the carpets.  There are stalls set up, and bars, cafes and restaurants cater for thousands of hungry locals and tourists.

Fiestas San Juan

This festival celebrates the Summer Solstice in the northern hemisphere.  The reason for the festival is to ensure that the sun has sufficient force, rather than it dwindling and disappearing midway through the summer season.

Fires burn brightly from the nearest Sunday to the 21st of June, which is the longest day in the northern hemisphere.

Along the beaches and coastline, people bring picnics and barbeques and burn bonfires.  The resort of Puerto de la Cruz attracts around 20,000 people who celebrate; some of them party right the way through, until dawn.

People bathe in the sea believing that the sea has magical properties other people just dip their toes in.  Legend has it that if you go into the sea you will be assured a healthy year ahead.  Also, legend believes that if you are able to stay up all evening until sunrise you will be rewarded with being able to see the famous San Borondon Island on the horizon.

Whatever your belief the people of Tenerife certainly know how to party, drink eat and be merry. It is not surprising that the island has such good weather with the effort that they put into celebrating.

Starmus Festival

The Starmus Festival was founded in 2007 by Brian May, lead guitarist in Queen and Garik Israelian who is also a musician.  Almost 30 years after Brian May stopped his PhD dissertation, due to the success of Queen’s success in 1974, he returned to the island of Tenerife, to complete his dissertation.  There he met Garik and the two men formed a close friendship.

May completed his dissertation on zodiacal dust in the solar system and the two men then founded Starmus.  The festival celebrates astronomy, space exploration, music and art.  It has had many historical visitors such as Neil Armstrong, Stephen Hawking and Rick Wakeman.

The festival is high profile and features renowned astronomers, scientists, astrophysicists and astronauts.  The first festival was held in 2011 and it continues to be a very successful annual event.

Romeria de San Roque

The celebration of Romeria de San Roque, held in honour of the patron saint of San-Roque begins on the 24th July at Garachico.  The locals celebrate late into the evening with dancing, vibrant costume dancing, musical shows and pageants.  The locals have celebrated this festival for years.  The Romera Mayor festival occurs on the 6th August and the main festival of Romeria de San Roque is celebrated on the 16th August.  It is a colourful procession of carts, celebrating the Saints image, pilgrims, flowers, fruit and people eating and drinking and having fun.

Fimucité Film Music Festival

The Fimucité Film Music Festival has been held since 2007 in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.  The admission price is free.  It is an international film music festival and it hosts panels and conferences.  The Fimucité has its own orchestra and choir who perform outstandingly well.

Festival of San Andres

The Festival of San Andres is a wine festival, which is held in November.  It is one of the most important celebrations in La Oratava in the northern part of the island, which is famous for its fertile soil and therefore is grape vines.

Day of the Three Wise Men

The Day of the Three Wise Men, El Dia de Los Reyes, the Day of the Kings is quite an event.  The Three Kings travel by helicopter to Tenerife’s football stadium.  They then set off on camels in a colourful festive parade, through the towns.  Legend believes that they deliver presents to all of the children who will receive them when they wake on the 6th January this is Epiphany Day.  The 3 Kings represent Arabia, the Orient and Africa.

Festival of Tegueste

Next year the Festival of Tegueste will be held from the 23rd to the 27th May.  It is a walking festival that involves daily hikes in natural locations and is also a program of cultural, social and gastronomic activities.  All of the routes depart from Puerto de la Cruz.

Tenerife is becoming a popular walkers paradise.  It is no longer just a place where you can go to sunbathe.  Over the last decade, walking holidays and events on the island have become more and more popular.  The scenery is beautiful and there are walks for all levels and abilities.

Festival of Virgen de Carmen

On the 16th July, the Festival of Virgen de Carmen is celebrated in Puerto de la Cruz.  The Virgen is the patroness and protector of all fishermen, seamen and now scuba divers.  The reason for this festival is that Elias an old prophet spent the last remaining years of his life, as a hermit, in a cave in Mount Carmelo.

Pilgrims attempting to follow in Elias’ footsteps invoked the protection of the Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel, Stella Maris, the Virgin of Carmen.  Therefore a festival is now celebrated once a year.

The Festival involves a parade through the town, and down to the seafront.  The Virgin who is made of flowers is carried through the streets and put onto a highly decorated boat.  The statue then travels around the harbour with music playing and fireworks.  She is then brought ashore.

Legend has it that the Virgin keeps the waters surrounding the shore safe and clean.  Many firm believers do not enter the water until after the 16th July, as they fear they may drown or have an accident.

Festival of the Pot and Chestnut

Festival of the Pot and Chestnut is a celebration of Saint San Andres or Saint Andrew again in Peurto de la Cruz.  It is held on the 29th November and locals, primarily children bring collections of old pots and other old items.  They tie up the items to a wire net.  Then they make as much noise as is absolutely possible, by banging on the items as hard as they possibly can, like a drum.  It really is quite a noise but they seem to get a great deal of satisfaction from it.  It really is enough to wake the dead!

The adults take part in looking around the stalls that have specifically been set up in the harbour with a selection of good wines and chestnut stalls.  November is definitely the end of the really good hot summer weather and thoughts turn to being indoors, having lots of tapas and drinking good wine.  Winter residents normally return to the island around this time too, so the two events also coincide.

Apart from the wine a music festival is normally held around the days of the 29th and 30th November where the locals eat and drink, and yet again, enjoy themselves.

Los Hachitos Festival

Los Hachitos Festival celebrates on June 23rd and the 24th.  They set light to wooden brightly cultured banners called ‘hachitos’.  They are then paraded around the streets in Icod de Los Vinos.  The size of the hachitos will vary depending on the specific region that they are from.  They are then paraded up the nearby mountains with Canarian music playing loudly.

It is thought that this particular festival started when the Crown of Castilla conquered Tenerife.

These are just some of the fabulous events and areas that this beautiful island has to offer.  Whenever you visit this amazing island you will revel in what is available. You will also notice that a week or even two week’s vacation in Tenerife is not enough.  You will be thinking about your next trip to the island before you have even left for North or South Tenerife Airport.

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