Adeje’s San Sebastian celebrations

 

Adeje is getting ready to pay homage to one of the borough’s patron saints, San Sebastián, a celebration which dates back to the 18th Century and which takes place along the beach of La Enramada in La
Caleta, adapted over the years. This year celebrations take place on January 19th and 20th and those who wish to take part (as riders, etc) must have registered by January 12th.

Events will begin from 8pm on Friday January 19th with a sung mass in the La Caleta church, after which the statue of San Sebastian will take part in a short parade accompanied by the Adeje municipal band, with fireworks. This will be followed by a festival of folk music and visitors will also be able to view the open air exhibition of images/photographs of the tradition of San Sebastian in the borough.

On Saturday January 20th at midday there will be a mass sung by the Santa Úrsula parish choir, after which the procession to the beach will begin, accompanied, as is the custom, by horses and riders and many more animals, as well as the thousands of spectators who will await them along the beach. Upon the return to the square the priest will bless others animals that have been brought to the event.

The council will be organising parking for the duration of the events designed to leave the main streets free for visitors and residents to enjoy the celebrations and for better traffic circulation. There will also be designated viewing areas for people with mobility difficulties.

The Adeje statue of San Sebastián was commissioned for the borough by Fr. Eulogio Gutiérrez Estévez (1851-1917) who was the parish priest in the borough for 17 years. Over the years many have attributed miracles to the statue and the saint, and many still pray to him for relief from pain and suffering. A report in the 1916 Gazeta de Tenerife speaks of the celebrations that year, reporting on local fun, and a procession of over 100 camels and other ‘beasts of burden’ to the beach accompanied by more than 2,000 members of the public.

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San Sebastián, Adeje pays homage

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With Christmas and the Three Kings celebrations out of the way Adeje is now ready for the next annual fiesta –that of the town’s co-patron, San Sebastián.

This is one of the most popular and engaging fiestas in Tenerife, with the bathing of horses and other four-legged mounts at the La Enramada beach the highlight of the festivities. According to the councillor for culture, Nayra Medina Bethencourt, “San Sebastián is a perfect coming together of people who live in Adeje and those who are visiting the borough. The plaza de San Sebastián in La Caleta is the perfect stage for this celebration of harmonious co-existence on January 20th”. And this year too the borough begins to celebrate the 100th year of the presence of the statue of San Sebastián which is carried ceremoniously to the sea, brought to the parish in 1916 by the parish priest of the time, Eulogio Gutiérrez Estévez.

In fact the celebrations begin on Monday January 19th with a two-day open air exhibition of municipal photographs. The ‘pinchos’ competition also returns. Pinchos are small tapas on a cocktail stick, cheap and tasty, and ideal for eating on the street. You can vote for your favourite pincho from 7pm to midnight. Mass with the Santa Ana folklore group in honour of San Sebastián will be celebrated at 8pm followed by a procession with the Adeje Municipal Band, and fireworks.

From 7pm there will also be a ‘Parrandas’ evening, with small music groups playing in public, among them the Paranda Boleros de Armeñime, G. F. La Diata, A. C. Cultural Imoque, the Parranda El Mesturao and the Adeje Municipal Folklore group.

The 20th of January is the actual feast day of San Sebastián and events begin at 12 midday with mass in honour of the Saint sung by the Santa Úrsula de Adeje parochial choir. The procession with the image of the saint then moves outside and takes the pilgrims down to La Enramada beach where the crowds will be waiting to see the traditional bathing of the horses, and quite often a few donkeys and maybe a camel or two.

This is a fiesta stepped in local traditions and was first celebrated here in the 18th century. Over the years country people and local Adeje farmers and beyond continued with their devotions to the saint in a very particular and special way. Many have attributed miracles to the statue of San Sebastián, including cures and favours granted.

Security
Given that up to 20,000 people take part in the celebrations every year, the council has made sure there will be more than adequate security cover, with personnel from the Policia Local, the Civil Protection Unit, the Sea Rescue service, ambulances and health professionals. Please take note of any access restrictions on the streets or on the beach in advance of the procession as they are there for the public’s security.

Some parking restrictions will be in place to facilitate free flow of traffic and allow people walk along the streets. There will also be a zone cordoned off for farm animals who are taking part in the festivities.

People are also reminded that they should come in time to park and walk, wear clothes and shoes that are comfortable, use sun cream (particularly with children) and bring water. If you are bringing you own pet/animal they must be on a lead and bring food and water for them too.

Viva San Sebastián

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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

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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.

SUNDAY JANUARY 19
“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.

“NOCHE DE PARRANDAS” (NIGHT OF MUSIC AND SONG)
8pm. G.F. La Diata
8.45pm. A.C. Imoque
9.30pm. Parranda “El Mesturao”
10.15pm. Group from the Adeje Folklore School
MONDAY JANUARY 20
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.