Canarian Folklore: Our Bird Breeding Hobby

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Jasper and Pearl, our young Gouldian Finches.

Bird breeding culture is really important in the Canary Islands, and we both come from families that have bred birds; my grandfather was a budgerigar breeder, who inspired the love of birds in me, and Fernando’s parents (and himself) are farmers, who have bred many types of birds, as well as farm animals.

18 years ago, I tried to do it myself, but I was too ill to do it, and had to give away my birds, which was truly heartbreaking for me. In June 2018, I fell seriously ill (as in, they thought I would die – ill), and was hospitalized for 3 weeks, but I finally got a correct diagnosis, and was able to start healing completely. Right now I am as full of energy as can be, and almost completely healthy – to say that I was excited to recuperate my hobby is an understatement.

You can follow the adventures of our aviary on our page La Pajarera on Facebook – photos, videos, and lots of tips for healthy bird friends!

https://www.facebook.com/lapajareracarolinayfernando

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Opal, one of our beautiful Budgerigars.

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Rosemary, Fennel, Sage, and Peppermint, our Giant Zebra Finches.

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Reflections: Not Conquered

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Reproduction of the Idol Of Tara, a representation of the Guanche Mother Goddess.

Every year, as summer approaches, I get asked the same question over and over again on my social media accounts: “Hey, I am going to the Canary Islands on holiday – can I go and meet you? Will you show me the places of power of your Ancestors? Will you read cards/perform magic for me? Will you teach me?”

The answer is NO. I am not a tourist attraction. I do not welcome visitors, I do not perform magic in front of anyone, and believe me, if you dare come to my house uninvited, not only you are putting yourself in danger because the area where I live is not tourist-friendly; you will meet my rage and you will not put a foot in my home.

Be careful with that colonizer mentality, because you are not entitled to me and my life AT ALL. I am not a good savage, happy to get a tip from white saviours for performing magical tricks, and willing to share all my secrets – I have learnt from the past, and believe me, the path is closed. I do not owe you anything.

Your Ancestors murdered mine, enslaved them, destroyed my culture, erased it from my education, removed any idea of indigeneity from my people, and now you want me to give you what I have worked my entire life to regain? Sorry, not going to happen.

Too many stories of spiritual teachers dying in poverty, alone and abandoned, after giving away their secrets to white researchers, film makers, university students, or just people looking for an “ethnic/exotic/real” experience because they are completely empty inside (ayahuasca, I’m looking at you). Too many stories of indigenous peoples used, abused, destroyed, for the greed of others. Too much pain and anger in the heart.

And, the fact that you get offended when I say NO, shows very clearly that you have learnt nothing, and that you still see me as less than you. So, no, I am not interested. This Guanche is not, and will never be, conquered.

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Photo Post: A Magical Life (2)

Images from everyday magic and everyday life, that I hope will inspire you and delight you!

In The Sacred Garden

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A new variety of Lavender for our garden, Lavandula Stoechas – doing well for now. Summer temps are already here, and all plants will be put to the test.

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Mealy Sage (Salvia Farinacea), flowering this week. A Mexican variety, favourite of butterflies and bees.

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It’s corn harvest season here, and every year, I make a husk doll with the first ears that we get from Fernando’s parents’ crops.

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Lovely Lady Corn got a headdress of Lavender flowers, and offerings of bread and honey. Making the garden Spirits happy is a total priority when you live in the SubSaharan area – temperatures are already very high, regular sandstorm season has started, and we need our green babies protected, for us and for all the customers who benefit from this garden through their candlework and spellwork. As you all start enjoying warmer weather and blooming gardens, we begin the slowest season – the first harvest is done, the land goes dormant, and we retreat inside most of the day.

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Gorgeous Fiesta Gitana Marigold – this variety of Calendula is doing so much better in our weather than any other I’ve planted before. Hopefully I will be getting lots of viable seeds to plant next year!

Magical Outdoors: Sacred Places

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One of the most beautiful traditions of May 1 is the Cruces De Mayo, which celebrate the foundation of the capital of the island, Santa Cruz De Tenerife. Accross the entire city, neighbourhood associations, schools, and the ciry hall, decorate huge crosses with flowers and fruits. A beautiful example of spiritual traditions crossing lines into civilian life, and blending with it unnoticed – since the cross is a powerful symbol of protection, these decorated ones protect and bless the entire city. We found this gorgeous examply while driving to the plant nursery to get some new plants for the garden.

The Craft Of A Bruja

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I took this picture only to promote the Tarot Forecast Newsletter, but it’s so pretty that I wanted to add it to this post. The lovely Italian style deck was a gift from my mother. By the way, you can find the link to join the Newsletter below.

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Artwork Available: Pintadera Earrings

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Colourway 1 – Two Pairs Available

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Colourway 2 – Two Pairs Available

I’ve been back to beading after a very long hiatus, and truly loving it like never before! These pieces are embroidered in felt, and were inspired by Guanche Pintaderas. They are, of course :), filled with powerful talismanic energy; beading is a meditative practise for me, just as painting or gardening, that is always done with mindful disposition. “Hobby” is a banal word that I’ve grown to dislike – I don’t do this to pass the time, or to make money; I do this to honour the creative urge in me, and its Divine Source.

Pintaderas were the signs used by my guanche Ancestors to decorate their homes, wares, and even as body paint. It is believed that they represented the Guanches’ cosmology, elements from Nature, and even family lineages (as a primitive coat of arms). Here are some examples from the Canarian Museum Of History:

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I have two pairs available of each colourway – let me know if you are interested. 35€ per pair, international shipping included, payable through Paypal invoice.

https://www.brujacarolina.com/contact

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Mystic Garden: An Exhibition

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Sor Maria De Jesus

Today, we visited Mystic Garden, a new exhibition about the life and work of Sister Maria De Jesus, a local nun which is in the process of becoming a saint after a life full of miracles, including the fact that her incorrupt body was discovered during an exhumation in 1734. She spent her life at the Saint Catherine Of Sienna monastery,  which is just two blocks away from my parents’ home, so to say that she is like family to me (and to my family) is an understatement.

I was extremely excited about this exhibition, that will be permanently homed in the monastery where she lived, now a beautiful art museum. The monastery was a cloister with no visitors allowed for five hundred years – to think that as it opened its doors this very morning, we were among the first people to walk through it since its foundation was the most exciting thing I have experience in a long while.

I took many lovely pictures for all of you – enjoy the eye candy!

Statues

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Gorgeous statue of Saint Rose Of Lima, patroness of Peru, and one of my most loved Saints.

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Lovely Holy Child, which was part of the personal belongings of Sor Maria.

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Exquisite handcarved bust of Saint Dominic Of Guzman, founder of the order to which Sor Maria belonged.

 

Paintings

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Saint Florentine Of Cartagena, sister of Saint Isidore, Saint Leander and Saint Fulgentius.

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Astounding wood divider with handpainted panels.

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Holy Child Of The Thorn. This painting suggests that Jesus had premonitions about his destiny.

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Our Lady Of The Holy Rosary. Sadly, the lights of the room did not help, and the picture does not reflect how gorgeous the colours were.

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Beautiful and tiny painting of Mary Magdalene, also part of Sor Maria’s personal collection.

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Archangel Saint Michael

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One of the oldest paintings of Our Lady Of Candelaria, and the total highlight of the exhibition for me, as I thought I’d never be able to see it in person. The lights of the exhibition were terrible, and again, did not allow for a good picture without flares.

Other Treasures

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One of the jobs of the nuns were creating silk flowers for devotional use. In the picture, the tools used to brand silk.

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These flower crowns belonged to Sor Maria. The pillow was used as a head rest after the exhumation where her incorrupt body was discovered.

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Fabulous retablo in Sor Maria’s room, with a small statue of Our Lady Of The Holy Rosary, and two glass domes with more handmade silk flowers. The room’s ceiling was really low, so this picture was a real challenge.

The Cloister’s Garden

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Canarian Folklore: Santiguado Hex-Breaking Ritual

About The Word Santiguado

In the Canary Islands, we speak a dialect of Spanish, so we have plenty of vocabulary that only we use, and that is very difficult to translate into English. Although I use the word Curandera to define my work and tradition, Curandera is only the regular Spanish term; in our dialect, a Curandera/o is called a Santiguador (male) or Santiguadora (female), a word that could be translated as he/she who makes (someone or something) holy.

The tradition of Santiguado (or, Canarian Curanderismo), as most ancient healing traditions, mixes prayer, ritual and herbal lore on equal parts. In a completely holistic way, the treatment for any illness is applied equally to body, mind and spirit, as we deeply believe that what happens in one of those areas always affects the others. Spiritual illness that is created by a curse, if not treated, easily becomes physical or mental illness; just so, physical or mental illness turn the patient into a very easy prey for parasitic entities and harmful magic. In this blog post, I will describe a hex-breaking ritual of our tradition in detail; after the ritual, you will find a message about the topic of hex-breaking, that I have written specifically for my customers.

Santiguado Hex-Breaking Ritual

Herbal Treatment:

  • A bottle of red wine;
  • Three eggs, laid on the day the work is done;
  • A handful of each of these herbs, fresh or dry: Tea (Camelia Sinensis), Lemon tree leaves, Orange tree leaves, Basil (Ocimum Basilicum) and Grapevine leaves (Vitis Vinifera).

The mixture is slowly cooked together until the wine reduces its volume in half. Once it has reduced, it is filtered, and then three stones from the furnace that are red hot are placed in the liquid to remove any negative energies from it. The patient must keep this mixture in the fridge and drink a small cup every morning, before having any other food or drink.

Ritual And Prayer:

The patient sits in front of the Santiguadora, a pot filled with water placed between them. The Santiguadora makes the sign of the cross continuously over the water with the right hand, while reciting the prayer below seven times in a row.

I have added the prayer both in Canarian dialect and English. All words between brackets on the English translation are added by me to make the meaning of the prayer easier to understand.

” Si en la cruz te mato, con la cruz me das vida, con el Espíritu Santo, y la Virgen María.

¡Oh Madre de los Remedios! ¡Madre de los pecadores! Remédiame lo que tengo, y quítame los dolores.

Cuando vayas a misa, y entres en la iglesia, ¿Qué es lo primero que rezas? Un Padre Nuestro y un Avemaría.”

If on the cross you are killed, with the cross you give me life, along with the Holy Spirit, and the Virgin Mary.

Oh Mother of all remedies! Mother of all sinners! Heal my ailment, and remove my pains.

When you go to mass, and enter the church, what’s the first prayer you say? A Holy Father and a Hail Mary.”

Then, the water is thrown away at a crossroads, saying:

Esta agua bendita, que te riego aquí, que te pongas buena, y no se me pegue a mí.”

This holy water, that I spill here, (for) you are healed (and so the ailment) doesn’t stick to me”

After the ritual is done, the patient must do something for the Spirits; usually, a mass at the town’s church is the tradition, on behalf of the Souls Of Purgatory (Anima Sola), but if the Santiguadora/Curandera has an altar, the patient can purchase candles, flowers and/or fruit, and offer them to the Spirits in the Curandera’s altar.

A Reflection On Hex-Breaking: To My Customers

I tend to give my customers as much agency over the Services they get done as I can, not only because I am not here to judge that, but also because I firmly believe that nobody knows better what we need than ourselves. I cannot count the times that a customer has approached me with the feeling of something going wrong in their lives, whether as the result of a curse or as the result of negative Spirit activity, and were completely right about it – actually, so many times that I do not request a pre-spell reading for hex-breaking work any more, unless the customer wants it.

I believe in my customers, because:

a) in the cases where the reading was actually done, only 1 out of 100 or less was wrong;

b) because I believe that it was their Spirit Guides who guided them to look for help;

c) because simply, I believe them. I have no reason not to. The people I work for have shown me, time after time, that they are to be trusted with such intuitions. My customers are not paranoid people seeing enemies everywhere; they are conscious, intuitive and empowered people using the Services I offer. Harmful magic is something very real, and its damage can be irreversible; they don’t take it lightly, and they know that neither do I.

So, if you are reading this, and feel that you may be under the influence of negative works or negative entities, please don’t wait to get help, and don’t try to fix it yourself, because you are not in the situation to do so. In these situations, it’s always one hundred times safer to seek help from outside, and allow someone else to fight the enemy. Someone who actually knows how to do their job.

And, please allow me to insist on this: people with grave physical and/or mental illness can also be the victim of harmful magic and/or negative entities, just as anyone – and in my opinion, even more, because their defenses are weakened. You wouldn’t believe how many times people with mental illnesses are just not believed when they speak about this. So, if you feel you are in any kind of situation where you cannot trust your own judgement, get a reading with an expert professional, and if you are right (which, as I said, it is very likely), get hex-breaking work done as soon as possible.

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My Main Website: brujacarolina.com – Tarot and Spiritual Services

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May 30, Day Of The Canary Islands

My small collection of Guanche reproduction statues.

Today, May 30, it is the day of the Canary Islands. It is a holiday for the two Canarian provinces, and all over the seven islands there are Romerías (pilgrimages with parades and dances), Bailes De Magos (traditional folkloric dance shows), and celebrations at all levels. Although it is very early in the morning as I am writing this, I am sure the scent of barbeques all over our neighbourhood will begin to spread very soon.

For us, it is a day of communing with our Ancestors and our heritage. We are fiercely Canarian all year round, and honour our Ancestry almost daily, as all Espiritistas and Curanderos do – but still, today we take that extra step to celebrate with our spiritual family. Please allow me today to share a bit of ourselves with you.

A Brief Introduction To Our History

Canarians descend from the Guanches, the aboriginal inhabitants of the islands, which were of Amazigh Berber origin. The Spanish invaded the islands in the 15th century, enslaving and slaughtering thousands of Guanches. Although the invasion actually took two centuries because of the fierce resistance of the Guanches, in the 17th century the islands were finally part of Spain’s territories – during those two centuries, Guanches were stolen of their very existence and unique culture, forced to baptized into Christianity and speak Spanish, and became Canarians.

From there, Guanche history was erased from all areas of education and culture, and it still is an outlaw in many ways. It survived in folkloric traditions, and in the underground of society itself, as it always happens with colonized people. Craft and agricultural traditions, musical folklore, curanderismo, and our unique dialect*, still exist thanks to oral traditions, to the presence of the elderly in our families, and in syncretism with Christian practises and customs.

I have to say – even though we are extremely critical of any colonization, we are not Guanche reconstructionists, and we do not deny our identity as colonized people, because our direct Ancestors are part of it, and because we are too. It was my paternal grandmother, a devout Christian and totally patriotic Spanish lady, who inspired my love for Our Lady Of Candelaria, the colonized advocation of Guanche Goddess Chaxiraxi. So, I do not honour Spanish culture, but I do respect my own Ancestors’ traditions and life experience.

*Canarians speak Canarian, a dialect of Spanish and Guanche language that has been recently recognized as such by the Real Academia De La Lengua Española, the highest authority on the matter in Spain. We also speak with an entirely different accent to the rest of Spain.

Our Lady Of Candelaria, Patroness of Canarians.

Our Traditions On This Day

To be completely honest, this day is not really so different from our everyday life, because of the work I do, and because we do make a conscious effort on preserving our culture all year round. Today, we are only slightly more Canarian than we are the rest of the year :D.

Since I work mostly with international customers, I don’t take the day off, but after my work is finished, we prepare to enjoy the day with our Spiritual family. Of course, the first step is to cleanse our home, physically and spiritually. We will be receiving the visit of our Spirit family, and we want them to be happy and proud. After the regular cleaning, the house is cleansed with herbal incense smoke, and blessed with Holy Water.

The altar, of course, gets candles all day, and simple offerings of fresh water, incense or herbs. The celebration is not closed only to our biological Ancestry, so all the entities we work with are invited to participate in an informal way. Most will visit briefly to give their blessing along the day.

Canarian food will definitely be on the menu: today, it will be Puchero Canario, which is a dish of stewed vegetables and meat that we both love. Again, not so different from any other day, because we make this dish very often, since it’s so tasty and healthy – but today, our Ancestors get served at the table, instead of at the altar, and share the meal with us.

Without a fail, we eat gofio, a toasted flour made with many different grains that is absolutely essential to our gastronomy and culture. Since gofio is already toasted prior to grinding it, it does not need to be cooked, so it’s usually kneaded into soft balls with honey and milk, and eaten that way along any kind of dish, or by itself. It’s filled with nutrients (vitamins, fiber and minerals aplenty), so it’s usually part of a power breakfast, or eaten as a snack through the day.

It is very likely that the day will end in the garden, burning some herbs in the barbeque. Although this is not a Canarian tradition at all, I am a Bruja, and I love Burning Stuff Magic :D. Herbs of cleansing and protection are used to keep negative entities and energies away from our home and our neighbourhood – Rosemary, Rue, Wormwood, Moorish Sage, and Canarian Juniper will be the most likely options.

In all, it is a happy and relaxed day with family, that celebrates who we are, and who we can become. I sincerely hope you enjoyed this post – here’s a short documentary about Tenerife, my island, that showcases the most beautiful cities and landscapes. It’s in English, so all readers can enjoy it!

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Prosperity Work With Saint Pancras

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Financially, January is a tough month for businesses and buyers alike – after the holidays’ excesses, everyone is broke and those of us who are independent workers are definitely among those who suffer the consequences of such excesses the most. Also, today is also the end of the latest Mercury Retrograde period – so, to make the best of the forward flow of energy this will bring, and give a little free magical advice for improving your finances, I decided to make a special offering to Saint Pancras, one of the Saints that’s traditionally linked to prosperity.

· Take a nice plate, and place a layer of brown sugar on it. Sugar is an essential food for Spirits, and in Prosperity Magic, represents abundance coming easily and “sweetly”. Nobody wants their money to come through the pain or loss of another.

· Over the sugar, forming a circle around the outer edge, add thin slices of lemon, as many as you need to make the full circle. Lemon cleanses and purifies, so our abundance doesn’t come from “dirty” sources, and the slices represent the Sun, bringing protection, strength, and success.

· Over the lemon slices, place fresh parsley and rosemary, in any way you want. Parsley is Saint Pancras’ herb, so it is deeply associated with Prosperity Magic, and so is Rosemary.

· In the center, place a red or green candle. It does not need to be tree-shaped as mine; any type will do. We just got this one from a friend, and here, all special candles go to the Spirits, so this work was a perfect excuse to use it. If you have any Prosperity or Money oils, you can, of course, anoint the candle with them.

· Offer it to Saint Pancras; of course, you do not need to have a statue – Saint Pancras is not deaf, and he will listen to your prayer! You can print an image from the Internet, or simply keep an image open in your phone/computer as you do the work. Or nothing.

Speaking about prayers – I do not use any particular prayer when working with him; I just call him, tell him that the offering is for him, and ask him for what I want with gratefulness and confidence. This work is not a ritual, it’s just simple Prosperity Magic so it does not need any formality – what it needs is trust and love for Saint Pancras.

And – this is VERY important -, if your request is granted, praise Saint Pancras in some way, and consider giving him a permanent place on your altar/sacred space.

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My Main Website: brujacarolina.com – Tarot and Spiritual Services

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Visual Inspirations: The Island In January

Happy New Year to all readers and subscribers!!!

January is the greenest, most beautiful month of the year when it comes to our tiny islands. This year, after an unexpected (but deeply grateful for) very rainy autumn, Winter has started cold (by our standards :D ), sunny, and totally delicious.

The places where we wildharvest regularly become our gardens, our adopted areas; we know every tree that grows there, when they flower and seed, and when they are not to be cut. Many of the older trees hold very powerful Spirits, and they have become our friends through each visit, each offering, each time we clean the place from trash. We see seasonal plants come and go with the year, rejoicing by their return every single time. We are as attached to these places as if we owned them, and when civilization ends with them, our heart will be broken.  So, what you are looking at is not only pictures of pretty things – it’s our green family :). Enjoy!

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Hibiscus (above) and Bird Of Paradise/Strelitzia (below) are in full bloom during this season.

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Gorgeous moss textures on the bark of a bottle tree (Adansonia Genus, Baobab).

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Canarian Ivy (Hedera Canariensis) growing over a Pepper Tree (Schinus Molle).

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The Canarian Palm tree (Phoenix Canariensis) is giving fruit abundantly – only animals eat their dates, but the sap that is taken from the crown of the tree is the origin of the Canarian Palm Honey, one of the most delicious relics of Canarian cuisine, and sadly a disappearing tradition.

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Inside the branches of one of my “adopted” Dragon’s Blood Trees. This one is actually the biological mother of the one I grew from seed, and that lives in our garden.

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And finally, my beloved Juniper trees. These five trees grow around a well that is centuries old, and are the home to several families of blackbirds,  so they are quite magical indeed.

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Canarian Folklore: November And Saint Andrew

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November 30 is the day of Saint Andrew, one of the Saint more revered in our island. This post is a little homage to him, and to the folklore traditions around his worship in Tenerife, because both Fernando and I are tied to him through our families.

In Puerto De La Cruz, the city where I was born, and were my maternal granndparents lived, Saint Andrew’s feast was celebrated with a tradition named Correr Los Cacharros (Running With The Pots/Tins), which consisted in gathering old tins and pots, tie them to a rope, and run around the cobblestone streets of the town. I participated several years when I was a child, and it was so much fun – it’s one of my most treasured childhood memories. If you know a bit about older magical traditions, I’m sure you have already made the connection – making loud noises, specially by children, is a custom in many places in the world to send away evil spirits and negative entities.

In the town of Icod De Los Vinos, in the north of the island, we have the tradition of the Tablas De San Andrés (Planks Of Saint Andrew). The town is quite famous for its extremely steep streets; on the eve of Saint Andrew’s feast, the fearless Icodenses*  get to the higher point of those streets, armed only with a greased plank of wood, and using it as a seat, just launch themselves down a very, very dangerous race.  Sometimes, they do that in small groups, with three or four racers in the same plank. There is no way of braking, so racers just crash at the bottom of the street on a huge pile of old tires… and survive :D.

*Icodense means citizen of Icod.

The very brave Icodenses :)

San Andrés is also the name of the town where Fernando was born and lived with his family, and where we lived our first two years as a couple. This small town by the sea, which was once the home of Guanche Mencey** Beneharo, has the tiniest and loveliest church dedicated to him (along with Saint Lucia); November is a whole month of special events in the name of the Saint – special masses in his honour, events to showcase folkloric music groups, a procession, and of course, a good ol’ verbena***.

** Mencey was the title given to the Guanche Kings/Chiefs.

*** A verbena is an open-air dance, usually made in the town’s biggest square. It includes live music (traditional and contemporary alike), and food and drinks are sold.

The lovely and tiny church dedicated to the Apostle in the town of San Andrés.

All around the islands, Saint Andrew’s day also marks the date when the new wine is sold; roasted chestnuts, grilled fish and boiled sweet potatoes and yam are the most common food at local festivities. Being a patron of fishermen, and thus of coastal towns, the celebrations usually include maritime events, where fishermen deck their boats with flowers, flags and strings of lights, and parade together near the shore at dusk, usually with one of the boats carrying a statue of the Saint.

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