14 de Junio de 2017

    Canary fiestas are awash with references to its flora and geology, as a sign of exaltation of the nature around the Fortunate Islands.

    Summer is fiesta time. It is the season with the longest, brightest days, that get people out onto the streets and terrace bars in comfortable light clothing. They are days of abundance, salads and fruits, days of sea and sun, refreshing cool drinks and shining skin, simply bursting with energy. Just like any other community, summer here is packed with shared traditions and rituals that keep historical events and beliefs alive, and while ways have changed over time, they all come down to shared and recognised origins by the local communities who feel drawn to their history, reproducing it in the form of a living museum, packed with activities in a huge public display of pilgrimages, religious acts and representations of landmarks remembered and preserved with great pride. There are also innocent events that tradition has transformed into huge fun events that bring in people in their droves, attracted by their sheer originality.

    Fiestas in the Canary Islands hold very close links with the land, with island patron saints celebrating pine forests (Teror, Gran Canaria, in September), volcanoes (Tinajo, Lanzarote, September), rocky cliffs (Betancuria, Fuerteventura, September), the snow of Las Nieves (Santa Cruz de La Palma, July, every five years). But it doesn’t stop there. We also come across celebrations in which a natural element is the object that attracts thousands of revellers in, as they carry down leafy branches (Agaete, Gran Canaria, August) to ‘punish’ the sea by slapping them on the water, following in the tradition of ancient Canarians in periods of drought. There is the capture of fish in the natural pool next to the sea (at La Aldea, Gran Canaria, September), reliving the fishing traditions of the ancient Canarians in these water pools along the coast. The bathing of multitudes at the Fiesta de la Traída del Agua (Lomo Magullo, Telde, August). There is the ‘tribute’ to pottery craftsmen at themudfiesta(La Atalayade Santa Brígida, July), as well as the fiesta celebrating the other historical home-grown Canary product, namely “gofio” or crushed maize meal, which is held in Agüimes (Gran Canaria, September), not forgetting the almond tree celebrations (Valsequillo and Tejeda in Gran Canaria), apple festival (Valleseco, Gran Canaria), sugar cane festival (Jinámar, Telde, Gran Canaria), and the apricot festival (San Bartolomé de Tirajana, Gran Canaria).

    As well as their religious and natural aspects, these fiestas have become fun-packed colourful get togethers for huge crowds, and are a must see for large numbers of youngsters who travel around the islands from fiesta to fiesta in order to make the most of the summer fun, whether it be by wearing typical traditional clothing or wrapping themselves in branches, caking themselves in mud or diving into pools and being splashed by fellow revellers. One thing for sure is that nobody can detach themselves from the festive atmosphere, be they locals or visitors, and take full part in the fun. Only by taking part can they really live the Canary summer experience.

    Fuente: Welcome to Gran Canaria

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