Pic of the day: Islanders take saint for a splash
Alex Dunham · 16 Jul 2014, 10:03
Published: 16 Jul 2014 10:03 GMT+02:00
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Every year, residents of the popular tourist city in Tenerife carry a statue of their Virgin, La Virgen del Carmen, from its chapel to a small beach at the fishing harbour.
As hundreds of worshippers and visitors splash water at each other on the shore, fishermen put the statue on board a decorated boat which then sails along the coast of the port city.
Photo: Desiree Martin/AFP
The procession is Puerto de la Cruz’s biggest religious spectacle, with fireworks and street celebrations taking over the city as night falls.
It isn’t the island’s most important Catholic celebration however as on August 15th tens of thousands of tinerfeños (inhabitants of Tenerife) go on a ‘mini pilgrimage’ to the northern town of Candelaria.
There they pay tribute to the Virgin of Candelaria, patron saint of the island.
Legend has it that the original inhabitants of Tenerife, the Guanches, came across a statue of the Virgin before the Spanish conquest.