Easter on Tenerife, Religion and Dance Festivals

Fri, April 8th, 2011 - By Jack Montgomery

Anyone visiting Tenerife over Easter who hopes to see the Easter bunny may be in for a bit of a shock, the only Easter bunny they’re likely to spot will be the one lying in a rich sauce on a plate beside some papas arrugadas (wrinkled potatoes) in one of Tenerife’s traditional Canarian restaurants.

Tenerife doesn’t celebrate Easter in the same way it’s celebrated in Britain. Familiar chocolate Easter eggs can be hunted down but they’re in short supply and, ironically, are more likely to be found on the shelves of one of the large out of town supermarkets rather than those in the centre of the southern resorts.

On Tenerife Easter is a time for religious contemplation and the events that are planned to commemorate it are sombre affairs involving eerily silent processions in Tenerife’s traditional towns.

That’s not to say that the celebrations aren’t worth seeing. Visitors near Los Cristianos, Playa de las Américas and Costa Adeje interested in witnessing a different face of Tenerife only have to travel a couple of kilometres to the old town of Adeje. On Good Friday (22nd April) there’s a two hour live action depiction on Calle Grande of the last hours of Christ featuring hundreds of residents dressed up as centurions, disciples and followers of Jesus. It’s like Monty Python’s Life of Brian…but without the laughs. It can be quite a realistically graphic depiction of Jesus’ last hours, especially when it comes to the crucifixion scenes.

Another emotive affair is the Magna Procession (5pm on Good Friday) in La Laguna, easily reached from Santa Cruz, Puerto de la Cruz and Las Caletillas. The first sighting of brotherhoods wearing long robes with their faces hidden by pointed hooded cloaks (think Ku Klux Clan) can be disconcerting. As brotherhood after brotherhood make their way from the Iglesia de la Concepción through the historic streets of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the only sounds that accompany their progress are a solemn drumbeat and the rattle of chains around bare ankles, it’s almost impossible to not hold your breath. The candlelit Silent Procession that takes place also in La Laguna undercover of the dark (9.30pm on Good Friday) is an even more atmospheric affair.

It’s not all religious affairs during Easter on Tenerife. There are two music festivals in Costa Adeje…unfortunately both on the same night; Saturday 23rd April. So clubbers have to choose between the Magma Meeting at the Magma Arts & Congress Centre featuring DJs, exhibitions and thumping sounds from 6pm to 6am…or the I Love Music Festival at the Tropicana Gardens between 3pm and midnight with more top DJs and headlined by Craig David.

Finally, there’s always the option for a bit of refined culture with The Moscow Ballet who will be performing Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty at the Teatro Guímera in Santa Cruz on the 23rd and 24th April, before taking the dozing belle to the Magma Centre in Costa Adeje on 25th April.

No, Easter on Tenerife isn’t the same as Easter in the UK, if anything it’s better.

Posted : Friday, April 8th, 2011 at 1:24 pm
Category : festivals & carnivals
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One Response to “Easter on Tenerife, Religion and Dance Festivals”

  1. […] processions on Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday take place. The most dramatic are the Good Friday parades, when penitents in traditional hooded robes walk through the […]

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