Ganesh in La Enramada
Adeje’s Enramada beach was the setting for the traditional offering to the Indian god Ganesh last Sunday, with over 100 people in attendance, most of them from the local Hindu community.
Those in attendance were there to pay their respects to Ganesh, who, according to tradition, is the god of beginnings, honoured at the start of rites and ceremonies. He is also the ‘remover of obstacles’ – and for this and many other reasons he is perhaps the best loved and most popular Hindu deity. Also present were Adeje mayor José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga and the councillor for local participation, Zebenzui Chinea Linares, invited by the Hindu community.
The celebrations on the Enramada beach were the culmination of 10 days of devotions and festivities, with many ritual offerings to Ganesh taking place. The last day of the celebrations is known as ‘ananta chaturdasi’ with large figures representing Ganesh and accompanying idols brought to the sea to be immersed in the waters by devotees. The significance of the immersion is to wash away the problems of the people that Ganesh has taken with him.
The Hindu community had also prepared traditional sweet offerings such as modaka and laddus, and the afternoon ended with a communal meal.
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.
Department of Communications
Explaining to a ten year old just what a martyr is and how a town can adopt one (“but how many years ago did he die, why did they kill him and how can you adopt someone who is dead”) was my start to this year’s celebration’s of San Sebastián, one of Adeje’s patron saints, and an event that brings residents and tourists out in their thousands to the beach in La Enramada in La Caleta to watch the horses being brought down to the sea for a swim.
The ‘horses on the beach’ section of the day is only a part of a larger celebration, with small folk groups singing, mass, fireworks the night before and the launch of a fantastic book about San Sebastián in Adeje through the eyes of some of the borough’s older residents, but for many it’s the most important bit. And it’s probably one of the occasions when the international resident’s feel very much ‘Adejeros’ as they bring their families to this event year after year, and spend time explaining it to invited guests from abroad or perhaps tourists who stand beside them on the beach waiting for the horses to arrive. The waiting is hours-long for ten or fifteen minutes of equine presence, but that doesn’t really matter. It’s a sunny day, we’re on the beach, with friends and family, it’s a local fiesta, what’s not to like.
And no-one left the scene unhappy. The thousands who arrived (once an elusive parking place had been found) were happy with the spectacle, the kids loved the ponies and donkeys who were also part of the four-legged beach parade, San Sebastián was carried, respectfully, to the water’s edge, homage paid and returned to his church, and people wandered happily home or went back to the plaza to watch the other animals being blessed, enjoy a tapas or two with a beer or glass of wine, music playing, sun shining.
Viva San Sebastiàn, Viva.
Beach upgrade – the Costa Torviscas concession company have contributed to the 600,000 euro investment in improvements in bathing and leisure zones
Torviscas and La Enramada beaches have a new look – fresher, more dynamic, more modern. The investment, with substantial contribution made by the Costa Torviscas concession company, has seen improvements in the bathing and leisure zones. The changes were all carried out within the integrated reform plan for the borough. Recently the mayor, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, accompanied by Miguel Ángel Rondón (Costa Torviscas) and the tourism councillor Rafael Dolado García, viewed the changes to the beaches which are now 100% accessible along wooden walkways, with specific zones for those with reduced mobility, adapted bathrooms, sunbeds, wifi access, sporting areas, and a monitored area for children over 3.
The mayor said, “the business sector has shown an excellent level of dedication to the services they are providing for the beaches. We are working together to provide a regeneration and renewal of key points in the borough, the beaches of Torviscas and Enramada, bathing areas that are very popular with both tourists and residents.
He added, “alongside cleaning and better integration of services, one of the most important matters is improving accessibility, excellent service presentation, as well as introducing technology elements which are helping develop the borough as an intelligent destination with global access.”
Rondón said, “we are offering an integrated service to each and every tourist and resident, working to ensure that people come to the beaches, enjoy themselves, and return”:
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.