Every year, Tenerife lives a special tradition that attracts thousands of devoted pilgrims from all over the region. The annual pilgrimage to Candelaria is a celebration of faith, culture and ancient traditions.
On August 15, the day of the patron saint, Nuestra Señora de Candelaria, is celebrated. This special lady has both a religious and a historical background:
Legend of Chaxiraxi : According to legend, the statue of the Virgin was found centuries ago by two Guanche herdsmen on the banks of Candelaria. They worshiped her as the goddess Chaxiraxi, which means Sun Goddess. If you want to know more about this exciting legend - and why this Saint is also called the Black Madonna - be sure to take a look at the chapter: The Legend of Chaxiraxi.
As every year, from this weekend countless pilgrims will set out from every corner of the island. Due to the extreme heat, it is unfortunately not possible to hike via Cañadas del Teide this year – for safety reasons and the risk of fire. Read the Cabildo's full press release here for more information regarding which routes are closed. But real pilgrims are not deterred by this: if necessary they walk along the highway. Not as beautiful as through the mountains, but necessity prevails.
The end station of this pilgrimage, which sometimes takes days, is the Holy Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Candelaria.
Besides its religious significance, the pilgrimage to Candelaria is also an opportunity to showcase Tenerife's rich cultural heritage. A celebration of identity, history and the unbreakable bond that connects the people of the Canary Islands.
¡Buen Camino! To all courageous pilgrims who, despite the extreme heat and closed roads, still set out this weekend. Viva la Virgen de Candelaria!
Make sure you stay hydrated and ¡Hasta Pronto!