The Magic of Tenerife - issue #12
November 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 Day of the Saints and The Day of the Dead
- The Coronation of King Juan Carlos
- The Fiesta de San Andres
- Website new pages and updates since last newsletter


Day of the Saints and Day of the Dead

I apologise if the title of this bit makes you think it's a bit of a depressing start to this month's newsletter, but these two days, on the 1st and 2nd of November respectively, are very important in Spain and Tenerife. Known, in Spanish, as Día de Los Santos and Día de Los Muertos, they involve families visiting the graves of departed loved ones, cleaning them up a bit and adorning them with flowers.

It is a major event, with, in some places, roads being closed to traffic to accommodate the crowds of people making their way to cemeteries.

November 1st, perhaps known more familiarly as "All Saints' Day" is, in the Roman Catholic religion, a day devoted to those departed spirits who have already entered the kingdom of heaven, while the Day of the Dead is dedicated to those souls who have not yet attained this and require prayers to help them on their way.

This time of year is a boom time for Tenerife florists, but, to give them credit, they resist the temptation to hike up their prices!


King Juan Carlos of Spain

On the 22nd of November, Spain's reigning monarch will have been ruling his country for 36 years.

Now 73 years old, he was installed as king two days after the death of the dictator Francisco Franco, on his instruction.

Born Juan Carlos Alfonso Victor Maria de Borbon y Borbon-dos Sicilias (they do like multiple names, the royals, don't they), he presided over Spain's transition from dictatorship to democracy.

Back in 1962, before he became king, he had married Princess Sophia Margaret Victoria Frederica of Greece and Denmark, whom he had originally met in 1954, during a cruise of the Greek islands. By marrying the young prince, Sophia reliquished her claim to the Greek throne and also converted to Catholicism, to appease the Spanish population.

When Juan Carlos was inaugurated as king, his wife became Queen Sofia, the spelling of her name having been altered to the Spanish version.

They have three children, Infanta Elena, Duchess of Lugo, Infanta Cristina, Duchess of Palma de Mallorca and Felipe, Prince of Asturias. Felipe is next in line for the throne.

The king, back in 2005, chose to celebrate the anniversary of his coronation in Tenerife, but it's not known if or when this will happen again.


Fiesta de San Andres

This festival is covered quite extensively in my website, but it merits a mention here, to remind you.

Occurring over the 29th and 30th of November, it is one worth attending even if you are in the south and it means travelling up to the north of the island, where it's celebrated.

The main towns are, initially, Puerto de La Cruz, where, on the evening of the 29th, the "running with the pots and pans" takes place. As the night draws on and the object dragged by youths, rather than children, get bigger and bigger, you'll be fascinated at the ingenuity of these young people. It's a scrap metal merchant's dream! But be prepared for your eardrums to receive a battering.

The next day, the action moves to Icod de Los Vinos and La Guancha - both towns with steep streets - where "riding the boards" takes place. There, you'll see young men dicing with death as they ride greased boards down the steep inclines (with no way of controlling their trajectory). Needless to say, ambulance crews are standing by!

The reward at the end of this is a paper cup (or two) of the new wine. There are chestnuts being roasted on braziers set up on the street and you'll also be able to try a pincho (kebab) of pork with a chunk of anis bread.


Tenerife Information Centre
New Pages and Updates Since Last Newsletter

New Pages

Updated Pages

Posted Questions


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This is John signing off. See you next month!

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