Easter week in La Orotava. We tell you how the canarians enjoy these days of withdrawal, that keep alive, throughout the years, devotion and faith.
Easter week in La Orotava is special and it has three characteristics that make it different from the rest. In the first place, there are no “carros” or “costaleros”, there are just “cargadores” (carriers). Secondly, there are no sculptural groups, with the exception of three cases that are inseparable: The Prayer in the Orchard, The Nazarene with the Cirineo and La Piedad. And the most important one of all, in La Orotava there is just one Easter. Every temple has its own rituals, but they don’t overlap each other. There is not one Easter per parish, but the Mayor Week of the Village.
Easter week in La Orotava is a chain of fervor and evocations. There are days of withdrawal that keep alive, throughout the years, devotion and faith. Thousands of people fill the streets to venerate their images, and is worth seeing and enjoying.
Its brotherhoods are the faithful reflection of work and perseverance. The brotherhood of “EL Calvario”, founded in 1864, is the most numerous one of all that parade in Easter week. Its promoter was Diego Benitez de Lugo y Monteverde, and it is said that reformist elites, with a republican or masonic character, were part of this brotherhood.
The brotherhood of “Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno” was founded in 1871 and is in charge of the organizing the procession of “The Encounter”.
The Easter week in La Orotava is a true exponent of art, history, tradition, and devotion; it is one of the most impressive celebrations in Tenerife and throughout the years it has maintained the essence of the Canarian Easter week, with its own traditions and without importing the Andalusian or Castilian costumes as it has been done in other places. In the Village of La Orotava there is about thirty processions and half a hundred “Pasos”, the absence of sculptural groups stands out, with the exception of three individual cases: The Prayer in the Orchard, The Nazarene with the Cirineo and La Piedad.
In La Orotava there are still centenary brotherhoods like the “Brotherhood of the blessed sacrament” from the parish of La Concepción, that is the first one of the village, and was founded in 1503. Some time later, in 1560, in the Hospital of the Holy Trinity the brotherhoods of the “Santa Vera Cruz” and of the “Misericordia” were founded. In 1681 the Sacramental Brotherhood of the Parish of St. John the Baptist appears, and in 1758 the brotherhood of the “Venerable Esclavitud del Santísimo Cristo a la Columna”. The Brotherhood of “El Calvario” was founded in 1864, and it is one of the largest one that parades in the Easter week of La Orotava.
Another brotherhood with history is the one of “Our father Jesus the Nazarene” founded in 1687 and re-founded in 1871. From that date on they are mainly in charge of the organization of the multitudinous procession of “The Encounter”.
The singular urban layout of the Historical Center, the location of the temples, the inclination of the streets and the emotional and at the same time solemn atmosphere that surrounds the parade of the processional “pasos” and of the brotherhoods that guard them, is what turns the Easter week in La Orotava into a unique and special event, distinguished by three main aspects that make it different from the celebrations in the rest of the Canary Islands: First, the survival of the “cargadores” that carry the thrones of all the images in their shoulders; the practical absence of sculptural groups (each image does the procession in its own throne), and third the unitary character of the celebration, where each temple celebrates its cults in an individual way but at the same time in harmony with the rest of the churches.