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Thursday, 17 July 2008

Festival of Carmen

Summer in Tenerife means lots of festival and it is the best time to visit tis place. Every part of Tenerife has its own set of festivals. Natives of Canarias believe in Fiestas n siestas. This weekend there was a festival of Carmen celebrated in North of Tenerife at Puerto de la Cruz. This is a fiesta with strong connections to the sea, so water figures highly throughout the day. Huge crowd gathers at the sea front at San Thelmo, playing with water pistols splashing water on innocent bystanders. By late afternoon the area around the harbour becomes a thronging mass and the little beach disappears under a sea of people. Around 6.30pm an excited murmur spreads through the crowd announcing the arrival of San Telmo, followed by La Virgen del Carmen, both carried proudly on the shoulders of local fishermen. As they move with a rhythmic swaying motion which simulates being at sea, the mood of the crowd changes from one of frivolity to religious fervour and devotees clamour to touch the figures for luck. At the lovingly decorated shrine at the top of the harbour, La Virgen pauses to be serenaded by a rendition of ‘Ave Maria’ which sends a tingle down the spine. Only the hardest heart won’t be moved by the sheer intensity of emotion at that moment; all around tear stained cheeks glisten in the sunlight. The strains of ‘Ave Maria’ subside, replaced with cries of “¡Viva La VirgenỊ” and “¡Viva San TelmoỊ” which accompany the couple as they’re carried through the crowd to the water’s edge and the brightly decorated boats which have been chosen to take them on their brief sea cruise. It’s a painfully slow journey. A barrage of fireworks and blaring klaxons applaud their departure and the fact that a good fish supply should be guaranteed for another year and everyone can wander away to dry out before the sun disappears below the horizon. Celebrations take place throughout July and include the obligatory crowning of the fiesta queen, traditional Canarian dances, Jazz and rock concerts, antique car rallies, sporting events and air displays. source:

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