The warmth and hospitality of the Canary Islanders is not only obvious from their day to day contact with visitors but also in their most well-known festive events on Tenerife and the other islands. Traditions are preserved in the most popular festivals, which transmits their pride in the rich and varied folklore whose roots are embedded in age-old traditions.
Without a doubt La Orotava stands out for its important events such as Corpus Cristi, which lasts for four consecutive days. The streets of the old town are covered in flowers and concludes with the Romeria de San Isidro Labrador, when thousands of locals in typical costume fill the streets singing and dancing, sharing laughter and food with all those present.
The Romeria is the symbolic representation of the offering of agricultural products to the town’s patron saints, San Isidro Labrador and Santa Maria de la Cabeza. On January 31st 1980 they were declared “National Festivals of Touristic Interest”.
Traditionally, since the turn of the century to celebrate these festivals, a local artist completes a carpet of drawings inspired by the bible; the three large rectangles cover a total of 900 square meters of the town square. Volcanic ash from the “Cañadas del Teide” is the only material employed, using its different chromatic shades without any added colouring.
The first carpets were completed to celebrate the visit of the King, D. Alfonso XIII in 1906, and since then, the tradition has continued year after year. The Casa de los Balcones in an effort to conserve and further popularise the artistic and cultural heritage of all the Canaries displays an example of this type of carpet in the Casa del Turista.
The Canary Island inhabitants, as always participate with passion and enthusiasm and this is further demonstrated by the composition of the marvellous flower carpets produced by them in the narrow streets of the old town, using plants and flowers collected from the houses and gardens of the area.
The first flower carpet was completed by Doña Leonor del Castillo de Monteverde in 1847 in front of her house in the Calle del Colegio.