FIESTA OF LA VIRGEN DE CANDELARIA
The fiestas of Villa de Candelaria are rich in religion and popular fervour, closely linked to five centuries of faith, belief and love for the Virgin. On the day of the festivities, many people come from all over the Island to pay tribute to their Patron Saint. Many people spend the night before on the roads that lead to Candelaria. This fiesta, closely related to the aboriginal world, re-enacts the traditional appearance of the Virgin, in Plaza de la Basilica, on the 14th of August. (Click on Downloads) The procession, which takes place the same day, is a time of great devotion and religious fervour. It goes to a place known as Pozo del Virgen, where it rests while a fireworks display is put on by the town council and the Fishermen's Guild.
On the 15th of August, Ascension Day, a solemn mass is held, attended by ecclesiastic, military and civil authorities. At mid-day, there is a procession and in the afternoon, the traditional floral offering or Virgin's Pilgrimage, with folklore groups taking part.
TRADITIONAL PILGRIMAGE ROUTES
From La Orotava:
This route joins the ridge road at Las Crucitas and descends the other side through Caldera de Pedro Gil to Arafo. It then skirts the lower part of the Malpaís or badlands, past the cemetery at Candelaria and finally enters the town.
From Santa Úrsula:
The route ascends the Arafo road to the crossroads on the ridge road in the direction of Mt. Teide. It then falls away to Chivisaya and follows tracks through the Malpaís, Las Cuevecitas and Araya, along several paths that lead to Candelaria.
The route is reached through Las Lagunetas and descends through Los Campos de Igueste or through La Vera de Igueste. It then joins up with the Camino Antiguo through Pasacola and leads down to Plaza del Lagar. The way continues along the road to Igueste cemetery, past Cueva de Añaco and Cruz Colorada. Finally, it crosses the old road and follows the path to Brillasol that runs parallel to the southern dual carriageway.
From La Esperanza:
The route follows the track to Las Barreras to Barranco Hondo, continuing along the Camino Antiguo through Pasacola.
From La Laguna:
From the square at Llano del Moro along the road to El Rosario Church in Machado, the route follows the track that leads to the road near Barranco Hondo until it reaches Pasacola. It then descends through the hamlet of La Jiménez, in Igueste, and comes to Plaza del Lagar. It rejoins the track to Cueva Añaco, Cruz Colorada and Brillasol, parallel to the southern dual carriageway, crosses the bridge to Candelaria and wends down into the town.
1st and 2nd February
Plaza de la Patrona de Canarias
Description: The feast day of Our Lady of Candelaria was first celebrated in 1497 when the conquistador of Tenerife, Alonso Fernández de Lugo, held the first Candlemas, which coincided with the feast day of the Purification of the Virgin Mary. The presentation of Jesus in the temple of Jerusalem by Joseph and Mary is commemorated each year to comply with the ritual of purification. According to Jewish law, two turtle doves or two pigeons were to be offered at the temple for the firstborn, which is why the Christ child, who the Virgin is holding in her right arm, has a little bird in his hands. Candles play an important part on this day, since they symbolise Jesus as the light of the world. During the act, known as the Procesión de Las Candelas, organized on the eve of the 1st to the 2nd, all the lights are switched off in the old quarter, while parishioners march in candlelit procession, reciting the rosary.