It is one of the most ancient religious holidays in the Island, going back to the times of the conquest. We tell you what s about the Corpus Christi in Tenerife.
The celebration of the Corpus Christi in Tenerife had its origin in a determined cultural and historical context: it was born with the objective of openly reaffirming the faith of God’s people in the living Jesus Christ who is truly present in the holy sacrament of the eucharist.
It is one of the most ancient religious holidays in the Island, dating back to the conquest of Tenerife when the Cabildo ordered its celebration in May 1496. It was a tradition to put flowers and decorate the streets where the procession of the Holy Sacrament was going to take place. At first, it was only about spreading some heather with petals and flowers of different colors. It was in La Orotava where the tapestries started to be “designed” as we know them today. Doña Leonor Castillo de Monteverde was the first one to take this idea to La Laguna, where it was rapidly accepted by other families.
The first tapestries in La Laguna are dated in the year 1907, and they are attributed to Luis Marrero, former sacristan of La Concepción, and known as the impeller of the La Laguna’s Corpus Christi. He was the author of the first tapestry of that time, that was placed in the corner of the La Concepción Plaza.
The tapestries in the Tenerife’s town of La Orotava for the Corpus Christi.
The Feast of the Corpus Christi in la Orotava is celebrated the following Thursday to the Sunday of Corpus. It is the Big Day of the Corpus Christi and San Isidro Labrador Holidays that start on May 15 in the town of La Orotava, in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. It is considered the main celebration of the Corpus Christi in the Canary Islands and one of the most important ones in Spain.
For this day flower tapestries are made in the streets of the historical center of La Orotava, showing religious scenes and ornamental motifs. The sand tapestry that covers the City Hall Plaza is very famous, and takes up to a month to be created. It is a huge tapestry made up of sand and dirt from Las Cañadas del Teide. During the night, a procession takes place through the itinerary determined by the flower tapestries and it ends in the city hall plaza with a religious ceremony.
This beautiful tradition dates back to 1847 when members of the Monteverde family made a flower tapestry to celebrate the passage of the “Andas del Corpus” in front of their house.
A group of tapestry makers work from the first days of May in the making of these tapestry, located in the City Hall plaza. Their work is going to be trampled by the procession that will be celebrated for the Corpus Christi Festivity the next 22 of June.
Although the tradition of the flower tapestries in this town started in the year 1800 it was at the beginning of the XXth century when the first tapestry in the city hall plaza was made. In that occasion, it was made as an homage to Marina Española.
In 1912 this space was almost completely occupied by these tapestries and they were made with all sort of natural products like dirt, dates, eucalyptus fruits, pieces of straw or legumes. Later, the natural products were removed from the tapestries in the City hall plaza and they started to being made exclusevely with dirts and soil from Las Cañadas del Teide.
Out of the 950 square meters of the plaza’s surface, the tapestries occupy 912 square meters. The tapestries from La Orotava have become of touristic interest with the celebration of the Corpus Christi in Tenerife, and every year they are visited by thousands of residents and foreigners that praise the work of this ephemeral art.