The Magic of Tenerife - issue #6
May 1st, 2011


This is your genial webmaster John with the latest Tenerife Information Centre Newsletter!

In this month's issue, we'll be taking a look at:

- The important celebrations of the Day of the Cross, or Dia de La Cruz
- The Battle of the Fireworks
- A local jazz festival
- A very important date in May
- New pages & updates on The Tenerife Information Centre


The Day of the Cross

An important date in the Tenerife (and, indeed, Spanish) calendar is the 3rd of May.It is the date of a prominent festival and, as well as the Spanish name Dia de La Cruz, goes under the names of Fiesta de Las Cruces (Fiesta of the Crosses), or Cruz de Mayo (Cross of May).

The veneration of the Cross dates from the reign of the Roman Emperor, Constantine I. He presided over the Roman Empire back in the 4th century and has the distinction of being its first Christian emperor. The significance of May 3rd comes from the legend that Constantine's mother, Saint Helena, discovered the remains of the True Cross on that date, all those centuries ago.

These days, this fiesta is celebrated by the lavish decoration of any crosses to be found. From the lowliest, small wooden cross on the door of a house, to the hugest, jewel and gold encrusted example in a church, all, without exception, are adorned with flowers. They truly are a sight to behold.

The best places in Tenerife for these celebrations are Santa Cruz, Puerto de La Cruz and Los Realejos. Here, you may find street parties, with long tables upon which food is served for communal dining. Also, the wearing of traditional Tenerife costumes may be featured.

Coinciding also with the date of the founding of the city of Santa Cruz, Dia de La Cruz is a Spanish national holiday.


The Battle of the Fireworks

In Los Realejos, on the evening of May 3rd, the Day of the Cross is finished off with this audacious display of pyrotechnics - a tradition that has been going on for almost four centuries.

The biggest firework event in Europe, this three-hour extravaganza is, in essence, a competition between two different streets of the town, Calle El Medio and Calle del Sol, as to who can come up with the best display.

It originates, some say, from a time when these two streets were occupied by the wealthy landowners on one side and the lowly workers on the other. Back then, of course, fireworks didn't exist and, instead, when the Procession of the Cross passed by, the rival groups lit bonfires, sending up plumes of smoke into the air. Each group competed to make its bonfire and the resulting smoke bigger than the other's.

With the arrival of fireworks, the formerly daytime display was moved to the evening and, every year, the participants strive to make their display bigger and better.

Funding for this event (which costs a considerable amount of money) comes solely from year-round fundraising and door-to-door collections (called "the Copper of the Cross").

Each street uses a different firework manufacturer - Toste Brothers supplies Calle del Sol, while Las Canarias represents Calle El Medio.

It truly is an awesome spectacle - and, if you're in the thick of it, your ears will be ringing for some time afterward!


You Either Like Jazz or Hate It!

Here's a rare treat for lovers of jazz. On the evening of Friday, May 6th, there is the fifth Arona Jazz Festival.

Taking place in the church square in Los Cristianos, this annual event is dedicated to featuring a diverse collection of different jazz genres, with the aim of fostering interest in this sometimes difficult musical form.

This year, musical groups taking place are the Arona Jazz Ensemble and Gran Canaria Son Jazz Latino (Gran Canaria Jazz Latin Sound).

There are bars dotted all round the square. Proceedings begin at 9pm.


A Special Date In May

There's one uniquely special date in May. On the 11th, it is your humble webmaster's birthday.

As luck would have it, it's my busiest day for piano lessons, so, as I work on through it, spare a little thought for me - turning 59 - gulp!


Tenerife Information Centre
New Pages and Updates Since Last Newsletter

New Pages

Updated Pages

Posted Questions


If you like this ezine, please do a friend (and me) a big favour and forward it to them.

If a friend forwarded this ezine to you and you like what you read, please subscribe by visiting The Tenerife Information Centre.

Comments? Ideas? Feedback? I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this ezine and tell me what you think!

This is John signing off. See you next month!

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