Friday, May 29, 2009

Daycare Romería

The most traditional and widespread festivals on the island are the pilgrimages, or romerías, held in honor of the patron saint of a particular place. Different festivals are held in different cities and villages throughout the island and each event is directly related to the Catholic calendar of saints' days.

In Tenerife, romerías were historically celebrated by the upper classes, who would gather to venerate their patron saints, to which they attributed good harvests, fertile lands, plentiful rainfall, the curing of sicknesses, the ending of epidemics, etc. These celebrations gradually became more popular, and, what was once an exclusive festivity, is now open to all.

The events are are celebrated by various means: with wagons and floats pulled by oxen, plowing teams and livestock, local dances, local dishes, folkloric activities, local arts and crafts, local sports, and the wearing of traditional dress of Tenerife (trajes de mago).

Today was the festival at the Centro Infantil Aladi (or the boys school). All the children, staff, and some parents showed up in traditional clothing. The boys wore outfits pieced together from family offerings and whatever we had on hand, not totally traditional, but they still looked cute. The parents also brought mostly traditional foods for the celebration. We contributed a bizcocho (kindly made by Lela) and some juice boxes (not traditional).

Around 11:00 a.m., the teachers and students began the procession through the courtyard, and then gathered in the center for some singing and dancing. Alex and Connor did great throughout the procession... until Connor caught sight of Daddy... and began to cry. Alex was admiring the crowd, waving and blowing kisses, and then he saw Mommy and began to cry too. They ended up watching the rest of the show from the safety of our arms.

After the performance, all the children went back to the school to enjoy the yummy traditional food brought in by all the parents. After a little bite to eat, we quickly headed home for a much needed nap. It was a cute little fiesta.

“A love for tradition has never weakened a nation, indeed it has strengthened nations in their hour of peril” ~ Winston Churchill

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