Every year, on January 20th, the church of La Caleta and the adjacent beach La Enramada take center stage in a traditional celebration.
It is the feast day of San Sebastián, patron saint of, among other things, Agriculture and Livestock. People come from near and far, especially to admire the equestrian spectacle in La Caleta.
Procession & Horse parade
The day begins with a special mass, followed by a colorful procession in which the sacred statue is carried from the church to the sea. A parade of horseback riders precedes a lively procession of oxen, goats, sheep, camels, and dromedaries, aiming to take a refreshing dip in the waves of the Atlantic Ocean, cleansing both physically and symbolically.
The pilgrimage concludes at the festively adorned Plaza de San Sebastián, where the priest blesses the animals.
The celebration spans over 2 days, as follows:
Friday, January 19, 2024:
Traditional music, dance, artisanal products, delicious food, and local wine make this festival a real recommendation to experience Canarian culture up close.
- From 7 p.m. to 08:00 p.m.: Church service, sung by the music group Boleros de Armeñime in the church of San Sebastián in La Caleta. Following the mass at 08:30 p.m., there is a procession with the image of San Sebastián, accompanied by the local music band from Adeje. The spectacle concludes with fireworks.
- From 10:00 p.m. onwards, there will be folkloric music from the locally very popular music group La Parranda Chasnera on the square in front of the church. Definitely worth it if you want to hear some typical Canarian music! And if you feel peckish, there are charming stalls with Canarian delights around the church.
Saturday, January 20, 2024
- At 12:00 noon, a Eucharist takes place in the church of San Sebastian, followed by the procession of the patron saint in the area around the church, after which the traditional blessing of the animals occurs.
- If you don't want to miss the spectacle of the horses, I recommend arriving reasonably early at La Enramada beach (due to safety reasons, barriers are in place, so good viewing spots are limited). Don't forget to bring your camera, a bottle of water, and some sunscreen, as the spectacle may take a while to commence.
Local Culture & Tradition
The festival of San Sebastián is one of the oldest celebrations on Tenerife, dating back to the first half of the 16th century, with the tradition being passed down from generation to generation. Interestingly, most animals seem to enjoy this tradition just as much as their owners, judging by the enthusiasm with which they happily trot along the shore.
How to get there?
Better leave the car behind, as the chance of finding a parking spot is slim to none. The best way to experience the spectacle is on foot along the promenade, or alternatively, by bus. Bus lines 452 and 467 from Titsa stop right next to the church, so that's certainly a more practical option. For more information about public transportation, click here.
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Greetings and ¡Hasta Pronto!