La Virgen del Pino - Fiesta Days In Gran Canaria
06/09/2011 - The “fiesta” of the Virgin of the Pines provides a perfect opportunity to experience two very important elements at the heart of Gran Canarian culture – deep set traditional beliefs and the love of a celebration.
One of the Gran Canaria’s most important “fiestas” is that of its patron saint the “Virgen del Pino”- Virgin of the Pines that takes place on the 7th September in Teror.
Located in the mountainous north of the island and surrounded by lush pine forests, Teror, is a picturesque town that boasts some of the island’s best examples of colonial style architecture.
Legend has it that in the 1481 in a mountain pine forest, the Virgin Mary appeared to some local shepherds. Since that first sighting “Our Lady of the Pines” has been the patron saint of the whole island.
Each year thousands of devotees take part in a procession - often walking through the night and carrying their offerings and petitions.
For others, the hours of walking is their way of fulfilling their promises and showing their gratitude for answered prayers.
Being Gran Canary, however, the majority of people just go along for the celebration afterwards. After arriving at the church in the main square the pilgrims pay their respects to the statue of the Virgin - then party really begins.
Filled with stalls selling food and drink the town centre becomes the setting for a huge “verbena” (open-air party). Revellers of all ages dance the night away to the rhythms and beats of traditional Canarian, Spanish and Latin American music.
This “fiesta” is typical of how religious festivals in the Canary Islands have developed and changed over the years to become a mix of fun social gatherings as well as religious occasions.
With a friendly party atmosphere and a warm welcome for visitors and holiday makers the Fiesta del Virgin del Pino is a wonderfully fun way to discover a bit more about Gran Canaria.
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