Fun, Fusion and the extended Adeje Family!

Last weekend’s cultural coming-together in Adeje was a fusion of families and friends, strangers and residents, cultures old and older, and a crossover of languages, ages, religions, and nationalities.
The event, called Fusión Entre Culturas, was held on Sunday June 1st and saw people from many different parts of the world, but all resident in Adeje or nearby, join together to celebrate both what makes us different and what unites us. The inauguration saw the Adeje mayor, Jose Miguel Rodríguez Fraga lead a top table discussion about the different cultures and nationalities represented in the Adeje resident population – over 118 nationalities at the last count.
The word fusion was aptly chosen as the main speakers referred to how we might fuse our separate identities and cultures with people from our new home, but we don’t lose them nor does one culture supersede or dominate the other. Fusion can be defined in many ways, but here it is best seen, I think, as a combination, a coming together of cultures, leading to the creation of new energies.

Last weekend there was a very open curiosity about cultures on show, and certainly the stand that attracted many curious visitors was the Muslim one, with tea and sweet tidbits on offer to all comers, as well as the chance to get your name written in Arabic. But all of the stands had their fans. There was a lovely table where you could write a message in your own language and post it – by the end of the afternoon it was full. Countries from the Middle and Far East, from Africa, Eastern Europe, and South American all shared the same space, swopped snacks and stories, and got to know each other a little bit better. And maybe next time we should encourage a few tables from nearer home, maybe stands for England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, the Scandinavian countries and Germany and Poland, just to mention a few.
And of course there were bouncy castles and face painting – the best form of fusion there is if you’re under 10.

Adeje takes pride in its multicultural make-up, and it actually is a delight to be part of it.


Viva San Sebastián

Adeje was buzzing with over 20,000 pilgrims yesterday as the small town of La Caleta hosted one of the borough’s most popular feast-days, San Sebastián.
Residents from the borough’s multicultural hub mixed with tourists – though the confused group of German ramblers looking at the bus timetable just outside the Church in the San Sebastián plaza were in for a long wait –and many people also brought their pets down for the traditional blessing after midday mass.
San Sebastián is one of Adeje’s patron saints and each year his feast day is celebrated through mass, song, and the hugely popular riding of horses down to the at La Enramada beach for a bathe as the statue of the saint is also carried down to the water’s edge. San Sebastián is one of the oldest fiestas in Tenerife and certainly one of the most original, and this year didn’t disappoint the thousands who were there to capture the special moments.
Adeje’s councillor for culture, Nayra Medina Bethencourt, said she was delighted with the participation of people from all over the island and beyond, adding that there was noticeably more pets and horse riders than last year. “The feast of San Sebastián has been celebrated here since the 18th century and has always been a celebration of harmonious co-existence. Every year more and more people come to seek the blessing and protection of our Saint. This is, without doubt, one of the most enjoyed fiestas in South Tenerife, and we are always looking ahead to make sure that future generations continue to celebrate the tradition”.
After the trip to the sea, the statue returned to the plaza and the blessing of animals took place, with dogs, cats, turtles, hamsters, birds and goats among the recipients.
This year the council also organised a tapas/pinchos competition among the restaurants providing food and drink during the festival, with the public voting. There was a draw, with stalls from Fañabé and Taucho both delighting the public’s taste buds.
Other participants in the weekend event included many small local traditional singing groups, and the stand for the Adeje Clean and Healthy campaign was also a draw, with information leaflets on the ongoing campaign available to the public in English, Spanish, German and French as well as presentation dog collars and reusable shopping bags,
Mention also has to be made of the excellent work done by all the local security forces. The police kept the streets clear with good humour and friendliness, and the work of the local Civil Protection unit on the beach was perfectly firm but sympathetic to the many members of the public who were jostling for best position as the horses made their way to the water.
All in all another great day for people and animals, and already looking forward to next year.

Riders To The Sea

san seb

On Monday Adeje celebrates the feast of San Sebastián, one of the most popular fiesta days in South Tenerife.

One of the many lovely things about living here is the perfectly acceptable combination of religious and popular festivities, and San Sebastián is no exception, After the solemn mass in the church in La Caleta on Monday, there will be the traditional blessing of the animals – and many people bring their dogs and other four legged friends to the plaza for the event, to join the sheep, goats, oxen, donkeys and horses there. Following this there is the highly anticipated and iconic riding of the horses into the sea at La Enramada beach, always a spectacle and usually with a surprise or two – last year a camel joined the equine wave.

Here are the events happening over the next day or two.

“SAN SEBASTIÁN, A TRADITION”. Open air exhibition with photographs from the borough’s archives. From 19th – 20th January.

“D’pinchos por San Sebastián” . Vote for the best ‘pincho’, which is a tapas on a cocktail stick. With the Adeje Fiestas Committee 2014. From 7pm to midnight.

6pm. Sung mass in honour of San Sebastián, Martyr.

7pm. Procession with the image of San Sebastián along the streets accompanied by the Municipal Band. On the return to the temple there will be a fireworks display.

8pm. G.F. La Diata
8.45pm. A.C. Imoque
9.30pm. Parranda “El Mesturao”
10.15pm. Group from the Adeje Folklore School
12 noon. Mass in honour of San Sebastián, Martyr, sung by the Santa Úrsula de Adeje parish choir. After mass the procession will take the usual route accompanied by the Adeje Municipal Band, culminating in the traditional blessing of the animals and then the horses and riders take a bathe in the waters by La Enramada beach.

6pm: Eucharist.


Halloween – A Celtic Tradition On A Global Scale

Dis-Guising will frighten away evil spirits in search of a body Traditional_Irish_halloween_Jack-o'-lantern Barmbrack, traditional Halloween cake halloween modern pumpkin
Despite the commercial hype that now surrounds the festival of Halloween, the origins of the celebration of October 31st are, most scholars and historians agree, to be found in the Celtic and Druidic pasts.
‘Samhain’ was a Gaelic festival marking the end of the summer and the beginning of the darker half of the year, the winter, and was celebrated from sunset on October 31st to sunset on November 1st. Like many of today’s Christian festivals, Easter for instance, the establishment and fixing of dates is often traced back to the decision of religious powers to adapt some ‘pagan’ and populist celebrations and incorporate them into the religious calendars. All Saints or All Hallows day is celebrated on November 1st – here in Spain, Dia de los Santos, is an important date – so October 31st also became known as All Hallows Eve, Hallows ‘Even, and influenced by Samhain the two were, over time, morphed into what is know today as Halloween.
Samhain is mentioned in some of the very earliest Irish literature, and was one of the four hugely important seasonal festivals along with ‘Imbolc’, ‘Beltane’ and ‘Lughnasadh’, also observed in Scotland and the Isle of Man with similar festivals in other Celtic hubs, in Wales, Cornwall and Brittany. Samhain was the time when cattle were brought back down from the summer pastures and when livestock were slaughtered for the winter. Samhain was also seen as a time when the door to the “Otherworld” opened enough for the souls of the dead, and other beings, to come into our world. These could be friends of foes, and while many set a place at their table for family members who had passed over, others took precautions against harmful spirits. The latter is generally thought to have inspired the custom of dressing up, ‘guising’ on the night of October 31st, to confuse or scare off a wandering evil spirit. Fairies were said to be able to steal humans on Samhain, and fairy mounds were out of bounds on that night. If people had to walk at night they would perhaps turn their clothes inside out or carry iron or salt to keep the bad fairies at bay.
Guising, or dis-guising is also the origin of today’s more Americanised ‘trick-or-treat’. In earlier centuries on October 31st children in Ireland and Scotland would go from door to door disguised and perform a simple task, sing a song or recite a poem in exchange for a treat – then perhaps fruit, nuts, today it’s more likely to be sweets, but the notion of playing a trick on someone who didn’t hand over anything wasn’t really common until much later.
Turnip lanterns, the precursor of the pumpkin jack-o-lantern so common today, with faces carved into them, were common at Samhain in the 19th century in parts of Ireland and the Scottish Highlands. The purpose of these lanterns may have been threefold. They may have been used to light one’s way while outside on Samhain night; to represent the spirits and otherworldly beings; and/or to protect oneself and one’s home from them. Some have suggested that there were often set on windowsills to keep the spirits out of one’s home. However, others suggest that they originated with All Saints/All Souls and that they represented Christian souls in purgatory. It is generally believed that, as with many traditions that crossed during periods of mass immigration from Ireland and Great Britain to the Americas in the 19th and early 20th century, the traditional carved turnip was replaced by the pumpkin as they were more plentiful and easier to carve.
There are some traditional foods that are still served in Irish households on Halloween night. Barmbrack is a fruit cake with various objects baked into it, each with a different meaning for the person who is lucky or unlucky enough to receive that particular slice. A dried pea means you won’t marry this year, a stick means your marriage will be unhappy – your spouse will beat you, a piece of cloth mean bad luck or poverty, a small coin signifies good fortune and wealth and a ring means you will wed within the year.
Colcannon was another Irish favourite, made from mashed potatoes and kale (or cabbage), and could contain other ingredients such as scallions or spring onions, leeks, onions and chives. This would often be eaten with boiled ham.
Carmel apples, or toffee apples, apples covered in a hard toffee coating and placed on a stick, are another treat though these days are not specifically associated with Halloween.
Obviously nowadays there is a whole industry surrounding the commerical version of Halloween which produces sweets of all shapes, sizes and colours, even down to pre-pacakged Halloween sweet boxes in large supermarkets, including here in Spain.


Tourists Enjoy Adeje Romería

Adeje said Adios to the locals Fiestas yesterday with a colourful Romería enjoyed by thousands who lined the main street to see the floats and agricultural carriages pass by with hundreds of Adejeros and visiting participants in traditional dress.
Adeje mayor José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga said it was a “splendid event with high levels of participation and a lot of foreign visitors and tourists which we value greatly as we welcome their participation”. He added, “this is a delightful fiesta and a day which is full of giving by the Adeje community, displaying Canarian hospitality at its best, sharing the produce of the land with everyone”.
The mayor of the Galician town of Riveira, which is twinned with Adeje, who was an invited guest to the event, said he was very pleased to be here taking part in a festival that was emblematic of the culture and traditions of the area, and was proud to take part in traditional Canarian attire.
The traditional parade of agricultural floats attended by different local groups, who offered passers by samples of local food and drink ended at the Santa Ursula church where there were musical and dance homage to the Virgen de la Encarnación, Santa Úrsula and San Sebastián.
A fitting end to a very successful and eventual two weeks of celebrating what is both traditional and modern about Adeje.

Adeje Fiestas Fun

adeje-fiestas patronales  (2) adeje-fiestas patronales  (4) adeje-fiestas patronales  (1)

This weekend sees the local Adeje fiestas really take off, with a host of events scheduled from Friday to Monday, which is a local fiesta with schools and many businesses closed.

On Saturday from 9am the Cross event takes place – you can sign up on the morning with categories from junior to senior, with races from 10am.

On the same morning there is also an exhibition of classic Volkswagen cars in the car park in front of the town’s main post office.

From 6.30pm on Saturday evening there will be performances from different local bands, and later on the main parade up the Calle Grande from 8.30 with lots of local groups, dancers, cheerleaders, fun and famous figures taking part not to mention an estimated 96 kilos of sweets to be handed out. The evening ends with music and dancing in the Plaza de España with the Orchestra Sensación Gomera.

Sunday is the day dedicated to the  Virgen de La Encarnación with various religious events taking place and a procession through the main streets of the town.

From 10pm the Plaza de Espana will enjoy a tribue concert by Esther Ovejero to Cavela Vargas, with the Wamampy orchestra bringing the evening’s events to a close.

Monday October 14th is a local holiday and is Dia de Santa Ursula. From 11am there will be children’s activities bouncy castles, and attractions in the plaza.  At six o’clock there will be a decade of the rosary and a mass in honour of Santa Ursula, followed by fireworks.

That evening promises a lot of laughs with a festival of humour in the Plaza de España:

Traditions and Modernity

fiestas patronal

The following is the list of events taking place in Adeje during the 2013 Municipal Festivals

Friday September 27th
7pm IV Adeje Gastronomy Festival, “”
Centre for Development of Tourism Costa Adeje (CDTCA)

Friday October 4th
6pm Mass and presentation of the Restored Painting of the Image of the Rosary
Santa Úrsula Parish Church
8.30pm Concert, Beselch Rodríguez, “Timple Band”
Music with timple
Adeje Cultural Centre Theatre €6

Saturday October 5th
6pm Celebration of th e Eucharist and traditional descent of the Virgin de la Encarnación
Followed by the raising of the banner for Mary
Santa Úrsula Parish Church
8.30pm 25 Anniversary of the Adeje Municipal School of Folklore and Group
Exhibition hall, Adeje Cultural Centre
Tuesday October 8th
6pm Solemn Triduum: Eucharist and Offering
The elderly, infirm and health care workers.
Santa Úrsula Parish Church

Wednesday October 9th
6pm Solemn Triduum: Eucharist
Santa Úrsula Parish Church

Thursday October 10th
6pm Solemn Triduum: Eucharist and Offering
Young people, educators, parents and religious teachers.
Santa Úrsula Parish Church

Friday October 11th
9pm Night Clay Pigeon Shooting
Municipal Shooting Stadium, Taucho
10pm, Gala Night, Adeje-80
Plaza de España
Midnight Street Party with music from “La Clase Aparte”
Plaza de España

Saturday October 12th
9am Street Races open to the public
El Galeón
9:30pm Fiesta Weekend Tenerife 2013
Exhibition of Classic Volkswagen Cars
Parking beside Post Office
6.30pm Bands Competition
Plaza de España
8:30pm Traditional Parade with Floats
Calle Grande
11pm Street Party with music by the Orquesta Sensación Gomera
Plaza de España

Sunday October 13th
6pm Civil Procession with the Municipal Banner
From the Town Hall to the Iglesia Matriz
6.30pm: Solemn Eucharist and Offering
From the different parishes
Santa Úrsula Parish Church
Procession of the Blessed Image
Carried by the bearers of the Virgen de la Encarnación and accompanied by religious and civil authorities, members of the Hermandad del Santísimo, the Mujeres Adejeras con la Virgin collective and and the Adeje Municipal Band
10pm Show with Esther Ovejero “Tributo a Chavela Vargas”
Plaza de España
Midnight Street Party with Orquesta Wamampy
Plaza de España

Monday October 14th
11am Children’s Event
Bouncy Castles, shows and workshops,
Plaza de España
6pm: Holy Rosary
Santa Úrsula Parish Church
6.30pm Solemn Eucharist in honour of Santa Úrsula
Sung by the Santa Úrsula Parochial choir
Santa Úrsula Parish Church
Procession of the Blessed Image
Accompanied by the Adeje Municipal Band, the clergy and authorities
10pm Gala night with humour from Eloisa, Yanely and Lili Quintana
(En Clave de Ja)
Plaza de España

Tuesday October 15th
6pm The story of Adeje through the eyes of its women
A visit to the Casco Histórico de Adeje
8pm Inauguration of the Exhibition “Stanislaw Lem y la Ciencia Ficción”
A social-cultural event by the ARKA collective
Adeje Cultural Centre
8pm 42nd Roque del Conde Football Tournament
In Triangular Format, C.D. Águilas, Fañabé C.F. y C.D. Armeñime.
Adeje Municipal Football Ground

Wednesday October 16th
8pm Senior Citizens Festival
Adeje Centro Cultural Theatre
9pm 42nd Roque del Conde Football Tournament Final
Adeje Municipal Football Ground
Thursday October 17th
6.30pm Children’s Festival l
Plaza de España
10pm Art Factory
Plaza de España

Friday October 18th
6pm Meeting with Riveira
Roundabout Calle Palo Mayor
9pm Miss Sur Competition
Plaza de España
11pm Street Party with Alto Standing
Plaza de España

Saturday October 19th
10am – 4pm Sport on the street
Plaza de España
3pm Rally Slot Villa de Adeje
Adeje Youth Centre
6pm Mass and union with La Gomera
Homage to the Virgen de Guadalupe
Santa Úrsula Parish Church
7.30pm I Villa de Adeje Wrestling Match
Plaza de España
9.30pm XXIX Villa de Adeje Folklore Festival
25th Anniversary of the Adeje Municipal School of Folklore and Group
Plaza de España

10:00 – midday Livestock Fair
El Cerco
11am Pilgrim Mass
Santa Úrsula Parish Church
1pm Romería y Offerings to the Municipal Patrons
Calle Grande
Followed by
Big Street Party with Kimbara and the Orquesta Korinto Band
Plaza de España


La Caleta Festival Programme

Swim Across La Caleta Bay, August 3

Swim Across La Caleta Bay, August 3

Thursday July 25
Decoration of streets and Fiesta Centre

Friday July 26
9.30pm, Fiesta Centre, Charity Dinner with a night full of surprises and show from GRUPO KIMBARA

Saturday July 27
8pm. Children’s Festival
10pm, Hour of Chance in the Fiesta Centre

Sunday July 28
5pm. Childrens games and bouncy castle in the Fesitval Centre

Monday July 29
6pm. Children’s games in the Festival Centre (organised by Dept of Culture)
9pm. Hour of Chance, Fiesta Centre

Tuesday July 30
6pm. Children’s Fishing Competition, pier
9pm. Hour of Chance, Fiesta Centre

Wednesday July 31
6pm. Table football competition, Bar Tere y Manoli
9pm. Hour of Chance, Fiesta Centre

Thursday August 1
6pm. Domino competition Bar Tere y Manoli
7.30pm. Street spectacular announcing the official start of the fiestas
9pm. Grupo Mesturado, ventroliquist Javier and his dolls, Pepe Benavente

Friday August 2
12 midday. Junior boat competition, pier
6pm. Parchís competition
6.30pm. Envite card competition, Festival Centre
8pm. Dessert competition Festival Centre

Saturday August 3
11am.  Swim across the Bay of La Caleta, (organised by Adeje Sports Department)
12 midday. Traditional games at the pier
6pm. Domina and Parchis finals
9pm. Mass in the small village chapel in honour of Nuestra Señora del Carmen, followed by a procession through the streets accompanied by the Banda del Patronato Musical de la Villa de Adeje. The event ends with a fireworks display created by Hermanos Toste.
11pm.  Street Dance with music from DELICIOSA and MAMBO LATINO

Sunday August 4
12 midday. The statue of the Virgen Nuestra Señora del Carmen is brought to the pier
1pm.  Traditional maritime procesion with the statue brought out to sea and along to El Puertito, La Enramada and La Caleta.

Swim Across La Caleta Bay, August 3

Followed by a huge paella, with music from the Orquesta Santa Úrsula.
8pm. Dance with music from Zona 4, trophy presentatin, and election of next year’s committee.


Low-cost Canarian Day?

The crisis has many knock-on effects, and the way those extra costs add up is no help.
While we budget on a monthly basis for essentials such as the rent or mortgage, food, school meals, and things like a birthday present or two when the kids are invited, there’s always another expensive surprise around the corner.
This month Canarians celebrate Día de Canarias, or Canarian day, and for many of us ex-pats with children in schools here, we are at a bit of a financial loss. Given that a)we live here and have chosen to do so and b)many of our children are actually Canarians having been born here or at least grown up here, they and we should and want to celebrate the day, but it costs money. While Canarian families, families that have their roots here, will have easier access to costumes, from older sisters, brothers, cousins, and friends, and will probably have a greater use for Canarian dress for many of us ex-pats it’s a bit of a stretch with no traditional resources to fall back on. And though it’s not the soaring cost of First Holy Communion (that’s another kettle of loaves and fishes), we’re talking at least €40 for a blouse, skirt, hat and scarf, if it’s to be done properly. And really its just for one day.
I know that this year, thankfully, some teachers are taking note of the financial difficulties that many families find themselves it, and are slimming down the Canarian day celebrations with some of the previous mini parades through local streets now optional so the pressure to dress your kid head to toe in traditional gear is minimised.
Here’s an idea though. Many of us, if we have lived here for a few years and made friends among the parents of other school goers, can sometimes rely on the Canarian costumes of older sisters or brothes of friends, but wouldn’t it be a good idea to create a pool of costumes that could be lent out for the festivities and returned to a central kind of wardrobe cleaned and ready for families next year. Ideally this would be organised though the local schools, but if the problem is seen as particularly ex-pat in nature, maybe through forums that we are already using.
I throw it out there for what it’s worth. Would it be a workable idea? Even if it’s too late for this year we could think of something like this in advance for next year. What do you think?

A Guide to Good Friday in Adeje


Thanks to the Adejemegusta blog, here is a guide to the best way to enjoy the presentation of The Passion in Adeje on Good Friday.

Anyone who has been to the town centre on this special day will tell you that it’s a highly emotional, extremely popular event with thousands of Adejeros and visitors crowding the Calle Grande to watch the action unfold and follow the representation on the street.  And to fully enjoy and appreciate the event it’s best to prepare your visit in advance.

The first thing to note is that this year the action goes up the main street, starting at the Plaza de la Cruz del Llano at about midday and will finish about two hours later at the Plaza de España with the crucifixion taking place on the main stage with the glorious Barranco del Infierno (what an impressive backdrop) and the Roque del Conde behind the action.

Before you leave home make sure you have comfortable shoes, kids have sun protection and sun hats, you have enough water to drink, and don’t forget your camera. But don’t bring a full bag as you will be carrying it for a number of hours.

While there will be parking in designated spots, if possible take the bus or get someone to drop you into the town beforehand.  If you are driving there will be parking at the Correos post office, near the start of the procession and at the Calle Piedra Redonda, down the street from the end point of the action.  There are also three parking zones behind the Cultural Centre.  However these will fill up quickly, so the earlier the better.  Certainly if you are hopìng to park near the Calle Grande I would recommend that you arrive by 10.30.

Once in Adeje it’s hard to suggest one particular ideal spot.  Planning or hoping to follow all the action as it moves up the street, with over 300 actors taking part at various stages and thousands following the action will be practically impossible.  Certainly the more dramatic set pieces will be the Last Supper, the meeting between Jesus and Mary Magdalene, the scene with Pontius Pilate, and the highly charged meeting of Jesus with his mother.  An elevated viewing point will be an advantage – maybe finding a point on the steps of the church would be a good idea and watch the procession work its way up the street. Another alternative is persuading friends who have apartments on the Calle Grande to let you view the event from the street – but only the very few are that lucky!

Whereever you do end up you will no doubt be caught up in the emotion of the event and the tremendous performances of those taking part.

Live The Passion, feel The Passion.