virgen-of-candelaria.jpgVisitors and locals alike are gearing up for one of the highlights of Tenerife’s festival period, with the Festival of the Virgin of Candelaria.

The event takes place on August 14th and is attended by pilgrims from across the canary islands, with a range of events laid on to celebrate the patron saint of the region.

Religious and less formal ceremonies mark the event, with a re-enactment of the story behind the appearance of the first statue of the Virgin of Candaleria also taking place.

Dating back to the 14th century – and pre-dating the Spanish arrival – two local shepherds came across a figurehead of the Virgin Mary on the beach.

The legend declares that the bewildered shepherds were amazed by the miraculous statue, proving invulnerable when they tried to break it and making wounds appear on their hands. The statue was then treated as an icon of worship, before the Spanish landed.

Those making their way to pay tribute to the patron will often walk from all corners of the island to the quarter, a tradition which sees the local roads and lanes filled with processions of people.

This year marks the 12th festival and the summer show is the perfect time to take in Tenerife, with a host of other activities spinning off the procession itself.