Why not sell religion?
Coming from another Roman Catholic such as Ireland I spent my first years in Adeje amazed at the easy manner in which religion and celebration, proper on-the-street, having fun, having a few drinks celebration, exist side by side.
In Ireland today there are parallels, with, for instance, the celebration of the country’s national saint, Saint Patrick, which is a huge international event – but in Spain they have the art of toasting saints and holy days down to a fine art. And really, here in Adeje, they could use it as a great selling point. Just a few weeks ago we gathered along the main street in the heart of the town to greet the Magi, the Three Kings as they arrived on January 5th to the delight of the thousands gathered. The parade included a float dedicated to the holy family, as much a part of the festivities as any one else. Back in the old country the religious side of Christmas is very much apart from Santa Claus and his reindeer – the two are celebrated but not quite at the same time.
Only two weeks ago of the borough’s most emblematic celebrations took place – the Fiesta de San Sebastian, in La Caleta. Over 25 thousand people turned up to celebrate the day and watch the bringing of local animals, including 60 horses and riders, a camel, donkeys, goats, sheep and dogs, to the sea for a blessed bathe. This is a marvellous spectacle, and one that has been unchanged really by the march of time. And of course there were thousands of foreigners among the many who gathered. But maybe there could have been more.
So here’s a challenge for Adeje and for us new Adejeros perhaps. Use these religious festivities to attract even more people to the borough. Days like the celebration of San Sebastian, and the manner in which Adeje marks Good Friday (Easter is only two months away after all), are so unique, so special, they are events that maybe need even a more exposure abroad.
What do you think – should religion be used to sell a location or is it an abuse of something that is, in its essence, sacred?