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In pics: Tenerife's blessing of the horses

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The Local Spain/AFP - [email protected]
In pics: Tenerife's blessing of the horses
A man rides two donkeys simultaneously during the annual festival of Saint Sebastian, in Tenerife. Photo: Desiree Martin/AFP

Enramada beach on the Canary island of Tenerife played host to dozens of horses on Tuesday as part of the annual festival of Saint Sebastian, said to protect animals against disease.

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The Saint Sebastian festivities in Adeje, a town in the south-west of Tenerife, began at the end of the 19th century and start with a traditional mass and blessing of the saint’s effigy that is then carried on the shoulders of the parishioners to the sea shore.

People traditionally lead their horses down to the water so they can be blessed as part of the ritual, while thousands of people flock from all over the island to watch the proceedings.

Celebrations continue after the blessing, with roadside food shacks setting up offering local delicacies alongside locally produced wine, while folk groups entertain the crowds. 

In pics: Tenerife's blessing of the horses

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