Thousands turn out to honour San Sebastian
During this morning, Saturday January 20th, thousands of people were in La Caleta in Adeje to celebrate one of the oldest festivals in the south of Tenerife. The festival of San Sebastián has been celebrated in Adeje since the 18th century, adapted over time to meet and acquire new needs and customs.
Resident and visitors filled the plaza and the La Enramada beach to mark the day, attending both the religious part of the celebrations as well as the highly popular section when almost 130 horses and riders took a short dip in the sea.
Adeje mayor José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga said that the location of the fiesta was one which had been a meeting place in the past, and confirmed that this was one of the oldest celebrations in the south of the island. “It is probable that the Guanches (Tenerife aborigines) held celebrations in this area and, following their conversion to Christianity, continued to celebrate here and that spontaneous continuance is part of our heritage, but also shows our strength as a people who belong to a community who are consistently looking to move forward and adapt”.
He continued, “One of the nicest things about this festival is the coming together and meeting up with so many different people. San Sebastián is a reflection of our day to day lives with roots in our past. It is a day when we remember our history, from where we have come, those who have gone from our lives too. The fiesta of San Sebastian has become a celebration that transcends individual religious beliefs which is when we enjoy this day so much, why it has become an international celebration”.
Celebrations began at midday with a sung mass, broadcast live by Radio Sur Adeje, the municipal station, on air and online. Events were also broadcast live by other local and regional radio and television stations. After mass the statue of San Sebastian was carried out of the church and, accompanied by the Adeje Patron band, walked to the La Enramada beach followed by the traditional parade of horses and riders, with a camel, small ponies and a few donkeys as well.
After the sea dip, the statue and the animals returned to the main Street in front of the church where the parish priest blessed them all, including a flock of goats and the many domestic animals members of the public had brought along for the purpose.
The festival atmosphere throughout the morning was a reflection of the social harmony that Adeje is always keen to encourage especially on days like this, where residents and visitors, both from other parts of the islands and the country as well as from abroad, come together in one of Adeje’s most popular fiestas.
Department of Communications