The borough of Adeje has marked the end of its Lustral year, a celebration that takes place every five years in honour of one of the area’s patron saints, the ‘Virgen de la Encarnación’, with a gathering of all of those who worked in the villages and neighbourhoods in the borough to prepare for each visit of the Saint as well as all the groups who worked during the last 12 months on different aspects of the year’s events.
During an afternoon celebrating ‘harmonous co-existence’ the Adeje mayor, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, said “the III Lustral year of visits of the Virgen de La Encarnación has become a symbol of the solidarity between the different peoples who live in Adeje and who continue to work with us towards the creation of a community based on solidarity, team work and personal and collective growth. So many people were involved and for that reason we have asked them here to thank them and to ask them to continue to work with us in the evolution of our town, along this chosen path”.
The closing ceremonies took place in the Parque Jardín Botánico in Adeje. Diplomas were given to representatives from all the neighbourhood and resident associations, the children’s courts, folk groups and other collectives involved during the year.
During the ceremony a number of individual prizes were given: the Lustral prize for Creativity, was won by the team who put on La Pasión de Adeje every Good Friday, the Lustral prize for Solidarity to the “Manos Unidas” group who help the less well off in the borough and the Honour Lustral prize to was given to Juan Navarro, a man who has worked tirelessly in the community for years.
This weekend the Adeje council is hosting a number of events to mark the end of the Lustral year. There will be a diploma ceremony recognising the work of all the neighbourhood collectives and resident associations in the Ika park tomorrow, Saturday, followed by a lunch and afternoon of music and song and on Sunday the final pilgrimage from Adeje town to La Caleta, over the traditional mountain path.
The Lustral year is celebrated in Adeje very five years, since the tradition was revivied in 2000, though there are records showing Lustral ceremonies as far back as the 16th century, when the statue of the ‘Virgen de la Encarnación was discovered and brought to the area known as La Humilladero. From there she was brought to the Adeje town church, Santa Úrsula, by Pedro de Ponte, to keep her safe from marauding pirates.
According to archives in the Adeje Fort (Casa Fuerte) there were Lustral celebrations held in the 18th century, with a document dated 1782 describing related events and signed by Francisco del Castillo Santelices. Today the celebrations see the statue brought to every village and neighbourhood in the borough with collectives working to include the local population in the event. The final event, and certainly the most dramatic and visual, was the nighttime procession with a flotilla of boats accompanying the statue from Puerto Colon to the La Enramada beach followed by a light and sound spectacular.
According to mayor, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, “the Lustral festival is an important celebration which allows us look to our past and present and open doors to the future. It is in opportunity to reassess our values: peace, progressivity, unity, harmony, equality….in these modern times, when our town has undergone profound changes, it is the right to time to encompass our solidarity, our multi-cultural identity, a perfect opportunity to continue to build a town that is progressive”.
As well as being one of the patron saints of the borough of Adeje, the Virgen de la Encarnación holds the title (translated) of Honorific and Perpetual Mayoress of Adeje. This was a title first granted her in 1961 by the then mayor Juan Manuel Bello Ledesma, and ratified again by the council in 1994 under José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga to coincide with the Canonical Coronation.