Cemetery ready for family visits


The Adeje Council has been working to get the local town cemetery ready for visits of the public this week, during All Saints day and All Souls day, with November 1st a public holiday.

Alongside the preparations in the cemetery, there will be additional masses held in the parish. The cemetery will remain open on October 30th and 31st from 8am to 6pm and from 8am to 8pm on November 1st and 2nd.

In the municipal cemetery the chapel has been repainted, many of the niches have been repaired where needed and the garden and green zones attended too, with new seasonal flowers planted. The metal gates have also been cleaned.

According to the councillor with responsibility Esther Rivero Vargas, ”this is an important time for our families when we remember those who have died and the council works annually to make sure the cemetery is in prime condition for the many visitors we will receive over the coming days. It’s important that people feel that this is a place of peace and harmony”. She said.

Those who will be visiting the cemetery will also be able to depend on the help of cemetery staff who will be in attendance during the week.

There will be special masses tomorrow (Tuesday October 31st) in the parishes of La Milagrosa, Tijoco La Hoya (5pm), Santa Ursula Mártir, Adeje town (6pm), San José, Los Olivos (7pm). On Wednesday there will be masses in the cemetery chapel at 9.30am and 12.30pm, in Armeñime (10am), Callao Salvaje (12 noon), San Sebastián (5pm.) and at 6.30pm there will be a mass in the Cemetery crypt with the Adeje School of Music chamber choir and that mass will be followed by a blessing of the niches.

On November 2nd, All Souls Day, there will be masses in the cemetery chapel at 9am and 5.30pm, and in Tijoco – La Hoya (6pm) and in Los Olivos (8pm).



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The History of a Cemetery

Adeje’s heritage councillor, Juan Desiderio Afonso Ruiz has written a history of the Adeje cemetery, which throws up some interesting facts, cultural and cross cultural.
Prior to the early 1800s there was no cemetery here but in 1813 burials within a town were forbidden, so an area needed to be allocated for this purpose alone. There was wrangling among local nobility and the church over who should pay for such an area, and the cemetery took until the 1830s to be completed and received an official blessing in June 1837.
The councillor, during his research, has come across a document from 1876 in which the parish of Adeje asks permission for a plot of land to be set aside for “non-catholic burials”. The request was denied by the powers that be at the time, as, they said, in a town as small as Adeje, with a population that was almost completely Catholic, the presence of non-Catholics was too insignificant to merit such a decision. Interestingly enough, those non-catholic plots that did exist in Tenerife were known as ‘Cherchas’ from the English word church.
Another possible link to parallel cultures comes from the relating of the customs among Canarians, The Dia de Finados, or Day of the Dead, falls at this time of year too, and it was not uncommon for adults to get together to serenade the dead in song, often singing a favourite tune of a deceased family member, meanwhile the children would go from house to house looking for seasonal fruits like chestnuts, almonds and sultanas and raisins. Treats indeed!

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If you would like to read the article in full (in Spanish); http://www.adeje.es/esp/vercontenido.asp?id=4848