Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Spectacular Tenerife Festivals

March 20, 2010 by  
Filed under Activities, Attractions, Travel Guide

You will find that some of the most memorable moments of your holiday will be those spent immersing yourself in the culture of your destination. It is always worth it to work a few museum stops into your itinerary to add an educational component to your trip. If you are lucky, your stay might coincide with a cultural event that is unique to the local area, such as parades, holidays, and festivals. Ireland has St. Patrick’s Day and Mexico has Cinco de Mayo, but the Tenerife festivals are in a league of their own in terms of cultural exposition and exotic flavor.

Though Tenerife is famous for colorful festivals, the undisputed jewel of the island is the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Celebrated each year in the week leading up to Ash Wednesday, it takes place for 10 days in the capital city of Santa Cruz. The carnival begins with the election of a Queen, and the subsequent customs that are carried out often verge on the bizarre. If you’re in Santa Cruz during the festival, you’re likely to encounter a cross-dressing event, a horse parade, the burial of a gigantic sardine, and nonstop street partying.

The religious festival of Corpus Christi happens every June. In Orotava, citizens decorate the streets with floral carpets of every size and color. Some are constructed with volcanic soil from Teide, and are afterward preserved following the ceremony in the island’s National Park. Also of religious importance, the Holiday of the Virgin of Candelaria occurs twice during the year in February and August. Islanders from all municipalities make pilgrimages to various places to make offerings to their patron saint, the Virgin of Candelaria.

For each of the Tenerife festivals, tourists will enjoy a look into the rich culture and history of an island that has an abundance of both. They provide opportunities for natives and non-natives to mix in spirited environments, and they brim with plenty of fun and education for all.

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