Living at Abama Luxury Resort on the heavenly island of Tenerife means more than incomparable landscapes and an eternal springtime climate. It’s also a chance to experience tradition and the ancient customs of its many picturesque towns. Today we venture to Arguayo, in Santiago del Teide, home to just over 400 people, where annually, for more than a century, the inhabitants have gathered around the hermitage of Candelaria in celebration. In just a few days, from the 10th to the 15th of August, this festival honouring the patron saint of the Canary Islands will be celebrated again at this sanctuary named for a woman, Candelario Quintero, who made its construction possible.
You might think that the objective of the Candelaria Festival in Arguayo is to commemorate the day the hermitage was consecrated to the Virgin, but that’s not the case. The reason that a sculpture of the patron saint of the Canaries was acquired to venerate the temple was to honour the woman who promoted its construction. Taking up the reins of what her father began, Candelaria Quintero collected funds from all the neighbours to raise the building around which the festivals are celebrated today. Her efforts finally bore fruit in 1915 at the inauguration of the hermitage, which was originally dedicated to San Felipe Neri.
However, growing devotion for “Our Lady of Candelaria” in Arguayo brought about a change in 1998, when the hermitage was elevated to a parish, and the Virgin was installed as the titular saint. Since then, this Tenerife town holds special celebrations twice a year, in February and August, that include not only religious but also sport and cultural activities designed to bring neighbours together in celebration of their community. They celebrate their uniting more than 100 years ago to build the hermitage, and also coming together 11 years ago to take on its badly needed restoration.
In 2018, at the close of 20 years since the consecration of the parish, the Candelaria Festival in Arguayo will take place between Friday the 10th and Wednesday the 15th of August, the latter being the patron’s saint’s day. So just 20 minutes by car from our exclusive residences on Tenerife, besides the headlining religious ceremonies and processions that will bring alive a popular religious fervour, you’ll also be able to enjoy outdoor meals, activities for children, music performances, and fireworks. Festival regulars and newcomers alike can also experience the concurrent “Envite” tournament – a typical Canary Islands game that uses the Spanish deck of cards -, the hilarious Escala Hi-Fi Festival, and the Subida del Panadero, which will bring together the best runners on the island in its 15th edition. Hundreds of people will unite in this Santiago del Teide town for competition or entertainment, Arguayo residents and other Tenerifans alike.
Heading to Arguayo this August for the Candelaria Festival will allow you to participate in a community cohesion project that, year after year, not only succeeds in religious commemoration but also in the strengthening of ties on the island. With its proximity to Abama Luxury Resort, there’s just no excuse to miss a celebration that will draw you into the most compelling religious, musical, and expressive elements of Tenerife life under the auspices of a fun and competitive holiday.