Prepare For The Power Of The Passion In Adeje

Mon, April 7th, 2014 - By Colin

You will never forget Easter in Tenerife if you experience the drama, the raw emotion, and the spiritual inspiration of The Passion in Adeje town. Good Friday 18 April will draw well over 20,000 people to see the crucifixion of Christ played out on the main street of the inland historic seat of Costa Adeje.

 

Passion Play, Adeje

 

You have to think big and then expect even more as you approach from the southern resorts of Los Cristianos and Playa de Las Americas or the west coast hot spots of Los Gigantes and Playa San Juan. From the first drum beats and trumpets that herald the arrival of the Roman empress flanked by palace guards and horses, the crowds are spellbound by a piece of free street theatre that features 100 extras, all in costume, as well as the main biblical players. Only Jesus is played by a professional actor but the performances are painstakingly rehearsed and key moments in the story are performed on lavish stages in the shade of the palm trees.

 

Passion Play, Adeje

 

Last year the canvas was expanded thanks to the re-opening of Plaza de España at the top of Calle Grande. The Roman procession was able to march down the full length of the road to establish their pomp and grandeur before giving way to The Last Supper in the Plaza Cruz de Llano. Then the disciples worked their way back up the street stopping to play out key scenes like the betrayal of Jesus, his torment in the Garden of Gethsemane, the arrest, trial, and whipping before Jesus is forced to carry his cross uphill as his mother, Mary Magdalene and followers plea for his release. It’s pretty graphic stuff and maybe not suitable for younger children.

 

Passion Play, Adeje

 

The huge crowds are catered for with large video screens at each end of the procession, it is shown live on local television and many watch in the bars and cafes that spill out along the route. Cameramen wear period costume and lamp posts and post boxes are draped with religious banners to add to the atmosphere. The main players have head sets so their dialogue can be broadcast in Spanish over speakers along the route, there are a couple of heart wrenching songs as well, particularly from Mary Magdalene.

 

Passion Play, Adeje

 

All of this is just an absorbing preamble compared to the crucifixion in Plaza de España, the backdrop of the Barranco del Infierno is stunning and the tiered steps of the church provide a great vantage point. If you’re a cynic like me you may think the emotion won’t get to you but the final scenes are so powerful as Jesus is nailed to the cross and hoisted into position as his mother cries out. These big set piece events are something that Tenerife really excels at.

The Passion, Calle Grande, Adeje town; Friday 18 April from noon (prompt) lasts 2 hours; no charge; arrive early for café seats. The Titsa public bus service passes through Adeje and has a good Easter service. Look for numbers 417 and 473 and allow plenty of time. Young children may find the realism disturbing.

Posted : Monday, April 7th, 2014 at 11:25 am
Category : festivals & carnivals
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