The pilgrimages in Tenerife, festivities with great tradition

In the Canary Islands, pilgrimages are traditional festivities of popular character. Color and joy flood the streets of the villages. Decorated wagons pass through the streets and it rains the wrinkled potatoes and traditional food. Everyone dresses in their typical costumes and enjoy a celebration they have been waiting for all year. The pilgrimages are at their peak in spring and summer, from the end of April to the end of September, in different towns and islands and in this article we will talk about the pilgrimages in Tenerife.

Canary pilgrimage

Nowadays, the pilgrimage is a traditional festivity of the Canary Islands and of great importance for each of the villages, where each pilgrimage has its peculiar touch and is different in terms of its flavors, typical costumes used and music. To the rhythm of timples, one of the most important Canarian instruments and about which you can learn more through this link, guitars and drums, the streets are filled with joy and celebration with the intention of promoting and maintaining mainly the agricultural and livestock tradition of the municipalities of the Canary Islands.

The pilgrimage, one of the most deeply-rooted festivities

The word "romería" comes from the word "romero" and refers to the pilgrims who went to Rome or any other sanctuary. The pilgrimage is a Catholic feast that is based on making a pilgrimage or trip, usually to a rural area or a mountain, to visit the shrine or hermitage of a virgin or a patron saint of the place. This trip is made in dressed carriages, but also on horseback or on foot.

The Canarian pilgrimage can last a whole day and besides celebrating with food, dances and music, there are also autochthonous sports activities, which we explain in more detail in several articles published in Marca Canaria, such as the garrote or the canarian wrestlingamong others; and traditional activities such as Canarian handicrafts, related to basketry, fretwork and embroidery.

Canary pilgrimage

These festivities are characterized by the tasting of typical products, folkloric music and the traditional canarian costume. Among the different typical costumes there are small differences that allow to identify the inhabitants of a locality or region of another, as well as between different islands.

The typical dress of the Canary Islands is the result of the influence of different periods and different social classes of the Archipelago. They are classic and ancient models used nowadays in festivals and celebrations of the people, as well as in folkloric groups and institutional celebrations. Wool, linen and silk are the most common fabrics used in the manufacture of these costumes. The blanket, of English influence, is the most characteristic garment of the Tenerife peasant. On the other hand, the most characteristic garment of the Tenerife peasant woman is the small palm hat.

Traditional Canarian clothing

In Tenerife, there are several towns that celebrate pilgrimages and many people come to celebrate and celebrate. The pilgrimage of El Socorro, celebrated in the municipality of Güímar, is one of the oldest in the Canary Islands and is held in honor of the Virgen del Socorro. Other deeply-rooted pilgrimages that are very popular on the island are the San Isidro pilgrimage held in La Orotava; the San Benito Abad pilgrimage in La Laguna; the Virgen de Candelaria, Patron Saint of the Canary Islands; and the Tegueste pilgrimage in honor of San Marcos. 

The pilgrimage of Socorro, the oldest in the Canary Islands

This pilgrimage, celebrated in the municipality of Güímar, is the oldest of those celebrated not only in Tenerife but in all the Canary Islands. It takes place every September 7 and runs the route from the Church of San Pedro, in the old town, to the hermitage of the virgin in Playa del Socorro. In the afternoon, the apparition of Nuestra Señora del Socorro to the Guanches at Chimisay Beach is commemorated. The next day, the image of the Virgin goes back to the village to return to the Church of San Pedro.

Socorro Pilgrimage

If you want to know more about the traditions of the Canary Islands, here is the link to the section of Marca Canaria about traditions and culture.

Paula Vera

Photos: Guía Repsol,


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