Kings arrival and parade through the town!


Their majesties, the Magi, the three kings of the Orient, Melchior, Gaspar and Balthazar, will fly into Adeje by helicopter on this Friday evening shortly before 6pm where they will be greeted in the municipal football ground by hundreds of Adeje families, and the mayor, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, who will give them the master key to the town, which, for one night only, opens the door for their majesties to the borough’s houses, so gifts may be left.
There is a nominal cover charge for entry into the football ground of €1, and this year the seating on both sides of the pitch will be open to the public as, for reasons of security, the helicopter won’t be landing in the actual grounds.  Tickets are on sale in the Cultural Centre and at the door of the football grounds tomorrow.  The public are advised to arrive before 5pm.


Once their majesties have received the key from the mayor, they will rest before joining the parade, which will start at the Adeje health centre at 7pm and make its way up the Calle Grande to the Plaza de España.  The parade is in two parts – the first is ‘Fantasía’, with steel drums, dancing groups, tumblers, and famous cartoon characters as well as local performers from Ballet Beanky and Los Angeles.  The Adeje volunteer fire brigade will also be on hand as will postal workers to collect and deliver letters to the Three Kings from the borough’s children.   The second part of the parade will be more traditional with their majesties accompanied by biblical characters.
The councillor with responsibility for the parade, Adolfo Alonso Ferrera says “this parade is one of the most eagerly awaited events of the season, bringing together thousands of people not just from Adeje but from all over the south of Tenerife.”  He added that the night’s events will “mark the end of the Adeje Christmas programme in which we have sought to reflect and stress the importance of social harmony, well-being and harmony among all our people”.
When the parade is finished there will be a traditional offering at the doors of the Santa Úrsula church and then their majesties will be in the Plaza de España to receive letters and talk to children.
PRESS ACCREDITATION: Members of the press interested in covering the events must contact the Adeje press office (by return of email) before 11am tomorrow, Friday January 5th, with your name, contact details and name of the media organisation in question.

Department of Communications

 

 

 

 

 

A rooftop tale

This is a story written for English Time by Tenerife author John Reid for our Christmas special

When Peter was a little boy, growing up in Tenerife in the 1960s, Father Christmas (or Santa) only had to climb down a dozen or so chimneys. There were very few European foreigners living on the island and local children knew only of the magic of the three wise Kings of Orient. Father Christmas was just a quaint old fellow they had begun to refer to as Papa Noel and he was definitely looked upon as very inferior indeed.

Little Peter, the foreigner from Great Britain, and his best Spanish friend, Manolito, each worshipped their own provider of Christmas gifts. Each had been taught, from an early age, that his own particular belief, or joyful tradition, was far better than the other’s.

Anyway, way back in 1965, Father Christmas came down the chimney at Peter’s house as usual on the night of 24th December with stockings full of brilliant toys. On the following morning, Peter was in a state of great excitement opening his presents and he played and played and played. His best Spanish friend, Manolito, was green with envy as Peter innocently showed off his lorry and train and cowboy pistol and he refused to talk to Peter for days.

A couple of weeks later the Wise Kings of Orient trotted up on their camels to Manolito’s house in the middle of a banana plantation. When Manolito opened his presents on 6th January it was his turn to leap about in a state of great excitement. His father was a very important man and seemed to get preferential treatment from the wise kings.

Pillowcases, not stockings, packed with extravagant and superb toys, far better, it seemed, than Peter’s were spread over a Persian carpet. Manolito had received many more and grander presents than Peter. He even got a belt with two golden cowboy pistols. What’s more, by the time Manolito began to play with his lorry and train, Peter’s were all very worn indeed, with wheels falling off and fit only for the poor boy who lived in a hovel down the lane. The pistol no longer even made a bang. It was Peter now who was green with envy and he too refused to talk to Manolito for days and days.

News of this envious behaviour between two little boys reached King Melchior, the senior of the three wise kings. He summoned King Baltazar.

“Ah! Good morning, Baltazar. My falcon tells me you’ve been having furtive meetings with that old snowy fool they call Santa, and in fact that you appear to get on quite well with him. Is this so?”

“Well, I don’t really know him well, your Majesty, but he is quite a pleasant old chap, actually. We meet every year and share a glass or two of wine on the roof of the English Anglican church. But I spy on him, of course! If you remember, you did send me to spy on him a few years ago in order to find out where he got his children’s toys from….”

“Did I?…Ah…Well. Well good”, stuttered King Melchior, rather caught off guard.

“Well, I want you to negotiate a truce with him. All this competing for the finest toys and between our religions and beliefs is confusing and stirring up trouble amongst ordinary human beings. We can’t have little children like Peter and Manolito falling for adult tricks and jealousies and about beliefs and religions being better than the other, what?”

So, when King Baltazar and Father Christmas had their annual meeting on the roof of All Saints Church in Puerto de la Cruz the very next year, it went on for much longer than usual, a bit like today’s Brexit business. Negotiations were quite tough and each needed to consult advisors around the continents. But a treaty was signed under which children should not be affected by adult interests, predilections or political and religious nonsense.

The process would take a few years, of course, but the idea was for the Three Wise Kings and Father Christmas not only to share the same shopping centres and toy manufacturers but also to share the duty and pleasure of bringing joy to children.

And so it happened. In fact, the island of Tenerife had the great honour of becoming the headquarters of this new association of shared beliefs and religions. Today, children on this and other islands under Spanish dominion have been blessed. In fact they are very lucky indeed. That very sensible and uniting agreement signed by King Baltazar on behalf of the Wise Kings and Father Christmas on the English slate roof of All Saints Church in the Taoro Park enables them to receive gifts from Father Christmas and the Three Wise Kings.

In other words, children of all nationalities enjoy visits from Santa on Christmas Eve, celebrating the birth of Jesus, but can also expect equally wonderful gifts from the wise kings in January when they come to present baby Jesus with gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Actually, between you and I, the adults keep most of the gold and things…..and Father Christmas has taken to climbing over balconies because of the lack of chimneys on the island. Well, we don’t really need heating, do we?

But the whole point is that it works. As a result of that meeting on the roof of All Saints Church, both Peter’s and Manolito’s grandchildren love both Father Christmas AND the Three Wise Kings of Orient. Sharing and being tolerant of each other’s beliefs, especially at Christmas, is a wonderful thing, you know.

So, long live Father Christmas and the three Wise Kings of Orient.

The Kings are arriving!

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 Melchior, Gaspar and Baltasar will land in the Adeje Municipal Football grounds at 5pm tomorrow, January 5th, and receive the magic key to the town from the mayor

Their highnesses, the Three Kings of the Orient, or the Magi, will arrive to Adeje tomorrow by helicopter, landing at 5pm in the Municipal Football grounds.  They will be met by the Adeje mayor Jose Miguel Rodríguez Fraga who will give them the special key allowing them enter the homes of all the children of the borough to deliver gifts.  The event is open to the public (entry is €1, proceeds to charity), who will also be entertained prior to the arrival of the VIP guests.

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Once they have rested, their Majesties will begin the parade, leaving from the Adeje health centre up the Calle Grande, finishing at the Plaza España.  This year more than 600 kilos of jellies will be handed out along the way.

The parade has a few new additions this year in Adeje, and is divided into two parts. The first will see the steel bands lead many cartoon characters from the world of television and cinema up the street, as well as local dancers and actors, from Ballet Beanky and the Comparsa Angeles del Sur.   The Adeje volunteer fire brigade will also be taking part as well as members of the Spanish postal service charged with making sure the Kings receive the cards sent by millions of children every year.

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The second part of the parade will see their Majesties take part in a story telling section, explaining their role in the celebration using historical texts to tell the tale of the Epiphany and the Magi.  There will also be a Nativity float with the Holy Family on board.

 

According to the Adeje councillor for creative development, Adolfo Alonso Ferrera, “This parade is one of the most endearing and significant culturally which is why we are introducing new elements that will create more public interest as well as reminding people why this day is so special”.

 

 

 

Department of Communications

Nervous anticipation ahead of Kings’ arrival

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A helicopter will bring the Kings to the Adeje municipal football ground at 5pm tomorrow where they will receive the key to the town from mayor José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga

The borough of Adeje has everything in place for the arrival tomorrow evening of Their Majesties, The Three Kings of the Orient, who will travel by helicoptor to the Adeje Municipal football ground, landing at 5pm. They will be accompanied by members of their court and will be met by hundreds if not thousands of Adeje children and the mayor José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga.

Nervous anticipation is the mood among the borough’s children as they await the arrival of Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar. During recent weeks they have been leaving their letters to the Kings in special post boxes, and when the mayor hands over the magic key, which allows the regal trio enter all the homes of Adeje, they hope that at least one of their presents might be left for them. Tickets for the event in the football grounds have been on sale in recent days in the town and can also be bought on the day, (January 5th), from 4pm at the grounds entrance.

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The Adeje councillor for culture Nayra Medina Bethencourt, added that this year the parade that follows the arrival will leave from the zone adjacent to the Adeje health centre, “so that no-one will be this terrific event”, she said. “This Monday will be the most magical afternoon of the year in Adeje…our parade has become a meeting point not just for the borough’s young people, but for children from all over the South of Tenerife who look forward to the Adeje parade, to meeting all the participants, and of course enjoying some of the thousands of sweets that will be given out along the way”.

Many different local groups are also taking part in the parade, as well as a Nativity scene with Joseph, Our Lady and the baby Jesus. There will be steel drum bands, and music from the Adeje school of music, the Adeje volunteer firefighters, a special post-office brigade with those letters, Teatro KDO, Ballet Beanky, Dixie Band and the Tenerife Tigers Cheerleaders. Also taking part will be Shrek and Fiona, Spiderman, Garfield, Pocoyó and friends, clowns, Winnie the Pooh, Tiger, Silvestre and Tweetie Pie, Snow White and the seven dwarves, Cruella Deville, Sponge Bob, Patrick and Squidward, Mickie and Minnie Mouse and Peppa Pig and many more guests from the world of film and storybooks. There will also be a surprise visit from some of the characters of Frozen in the football ground before the Kings land.

Once Their Majesties arrive to the Plaza de España they will meet and chat to children who might want to whisper a wish or two into a royal ear before it’s time for bed.

Security measures
As is the norm, the Adeje council would like to remind people that during all events, for the protection of themselves and their families, the importance of following the instructions of the police and local security personnel.

During the parade:
Keep an eye on your children at all times
Follow the instructions of their organisers, the Policia Local and members of the Civil Protection body
There will be a space between the pavement and the street to avoid any risks or dangers, particularly when vehicles taking part in the parade are driving by – please do not invade that space and respect the security measures in place.

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Christmas Celebrations and Traditions, Near and Far

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Adeje is a cultural cross roads, a salad bowl of traditions and practises, and Christmas is just one of these times when we tend to remember how we celebrated this festive season in the different countries of our birth.
With people from over 120 different countries living in our multi-cultural borough, it would be virtually impossible to list all the different traditions that are represented here today. But what is interesting is how immigration over the years has seen some practises from our past travel to new lands and adapt to new communities?
Here in Spain the most obvious example at Christmas is, no doubt, the fact that Santa Claus now visits many many children in Spain – in the past he left most of the gift-giving to his good friends the Three Kings, who brought the baby Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. But as communities in Spain and in Adeje began to welcome families from other lands, Santa Claus agreed to include Spain in his busy schedule.
But while we now share many customs, some we still observe in our own way. For instance for most Spanish people the big Christmas meal, where family come together, is dinner on Christmas Eve. Traditional meals will almost inevitably include prawns or other shellfish, with meats or fish as part of the main course. Most businesses close at lunch time on December 24th to give people time to get home and get ready for the meal, and while small presents may be exchanged that night, the big day for presents in Spain continues to be Kings Day, January 6th. December 25th is really a day to relax, and attend religious services for those who wish to.
To those of us who are from the UK or Ireland, December 25th is the day when our children will wake up early (too early for many parents!) and search eagerly for their presents under the tree. That afternoon is when we will have our Christmas lunch or dinner- with turkey, stuffing, roast potatoes and vegetables. Regional differences may see goose served instead of turkey, in Ireland a boiled ham is frequently served alongside the turkey, in the UK ham, roast beef or roast pork may be the second meat. Cranberry sauce is standard for the turkey as well. After the main course Christmas pudding is served, often lit with a dash of whiskey as it enters the dining room, and usually accompanied by cream or brandy butter. In many households the pudding is made months in advance, and steamed on the day.
The next day is traditionally our day to relax and get over the excesses of the large meal.. In the UK December 26th is Boxing Day, the name probably stemming from the old custom in Britain of giving a ‘Christmas Box’ to tradesmen and women on the first weekday after Christmas as thanks for good service throughout the year. This is turn is linked to an older tradition which saw many servants who had served the family where they worked on the 25th allowed home on December 26th, often with a box containing gifts and bonuses, and sometimes leftover food. In Ireland the day is a Feast Day, St Stephen’s Day and the day of the Wren Boys!
The Wren Boys traditionally were groups of small boys who would hunt for a wren, and then chase the bird until they either caught it or it died from exhaustion. The dead bird was tied to the top of a pole or holly bush, which was decorated with ribbons or coloured paper. On St. Stephen’s Day, the wren was carried from house to house by the boys, who wore straw masks or blackened their faces with burnt cork, and dressed in old clothes (often women’s dresses.) At each house, the boys sing the Wren Boys’ song in return for money which would be used to hold a dance for the whole village. Even today groups of Wren Boys will be seen on St Stephens day, but without dead wrens.

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Similar to the Wren Boys but not just in Ireland, Mummers would also go from house to house, and they would perform plays and wear disguises, often of straw, and ask permission before entering the house. Mummer performances would have been the first kind of folk theatre experienced in the UK and Ireland, and these would have been generally light-hearted occasions with audiences allowed to laugh and comment during the play. This tradition has also travelled with immigrant waves in previous centuries, and today you will find Mummer groups performing theatrical works in Russia, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and many other parts of the world.
Christmas is a very special time in Germany too, the country which has brought us the notion of the Kris-kind, or Christ chid, which many of us have adapted to use for gift giving among groups of friends or workers. There, on December 6th, many houses receive a visit from St. Nicholas. On the night before, children place their newly cleaned shoes by the front door in the hope that Nicholas might fill them with nuts, fruits, chocolate, and sweets and not a stick which they will get if they have been naughty. The German excellence in baking and biscuit making comes into its own too at this time of year. Christmas markets are hugely popular and traditional in Germany and are held in many towns and cities during December, with hand crafted gifts and produce on offer in the most of picturesque settings. The Advent Calendar, also a German invention, is now found in many countries around the world, whether home made or shop bought, and is a lovely way for children to count down to December 25th.
The Christmas Crib first appeared in Italy though has undergone changes since then with many countries adapting the concept and adding different figures. In Sweden on December 13 young girls visit homes bringing cakes, dressed in long white robes and wearing a crown of candles like Saint Lucia. Lucia was a martyr, probably from the 4th century, who helped Christians who were persecuted by the Romans to survive by bringing them food in their hiding places, wearing a crown of candles.
Christmas is celebrated throughout the African continent by Christian communities, and there are approximately 350 million Christians in Africa. The Coptic Christians in Ethiopia and Egypt celebrate Christmas on the 25th of December in their calendar, which is the 7th of January for most of the rest of us, similar to the Russian Orthodox church. However, some Russians observe two Christmases and even two New Years, following both the church and the secular calendars.
Take care here in Spain on December 28th – while you probably won’t see Wren Boys, you might find yourself the victim of a prank or two. This is Dia de los Inocentes, which is, in a sense, the Spanish version of April Fool’s Day.
As in most part of the world celebrations are pretty spectacular on New Year’s Eve. While many of us might watch the count-down on television tuned into Big Ben in London, for Spanish people who live in the peninsula they will probably watch the clock and celebrations in the Puerto del Sol, in Madrid, though don’t forget it will be 2014 an hour earlier there. Local television stations here will be tuned to Santa Cruz, but if you are in Adeje why not go down to the plaza in La Caleta where the year will be rung in style with live music and lots of fun. Also remember to bring your grapes. In Spain traditionally people eat one grape for each stroke of the clock at midnight on December 31st, and for each grape you swallow you should have a month’s good luck in the year to come.
January 6th is the probably the most important date of the year for Spanish children. Even those who might have been good and received a present from Santa Claus in December will know that it is the arrival of the Three Kings, Melchior, Balthazar and Gaspar, that sees their ‘big’ present delivered. Parades take place in many towns and here in Adeje the Kings arrive by helicopter at 5pm on January 5th to the main town football stadium and at 7pm there is a terrific parade up Adeje’s Calle Grande with each of the Kings on a magnificent float handing out sweets to passers by. There is loads of colour and fun during the parade with a host of other characters taking part. The next day children will wake early to find out what they have been left – and hope it’s not a lump of coal!

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In Ireland January 6th is also celebrated, but it is know as Nollaig na mBan or Women’s Christmas, and is a day when men traditionally did all the housework. In Canada, in Quebec have a celebration called “La Fete du Roi” They bake a cake and place a bean in the middle. Whoever is the lucky discoverer of the bean, gets to be the king or queen, according to tradition.