Candelaria is a village in Tenerife. Its name goes after Virgin Mary special title “La Candelaria” that apeart miraculously in the island in the fourteenth century. This is a small fishermen town with a very calm atmosphere, but once the calendar turns from January to February, it transform into a main pilgrimage site. If you are looking for a place to sleep and rest along La Candelaria Feast I recommend you to stay in Apartamentos Florida Plaza or Apartamentos Florida. This apartments are located conveniently in Puerto de Santa Cruz, a neuralgic place to visit the whole island.
A small wood figure arrive to the coast of Chimisay brought by the waves in 1390. It was the Virgin Mary. The local indigenous people found the figure and venerated it for years. When the Spanish missioners arrive to the island in the XV century and find out about the saint figure, they move it to a great cave called Achbínico and transformed the place into the first catholic chapel in the Canary Islands. In 1526, the figure was move again, this time to a real chapel built specially to host it. Unfortunately, the figure mysterious vanishing in 1826. The actual figure venerated today was made by the local artist Fernando Estévez.
La Candelaria Feast is celebrated the second day of February and implies the end of the Christmas celebration. Many locals keep their Christmas decoration until this day. Along the celebration local authorities organize a recreation of the miracle appearance of the Virgin Mary. There are cultural manifestation –dances, performances and music- along all the villages of the Candelaria County and massive mass in La Candelaria Basilica to worship the Virgin.
Besides the Feast, Candelaria, is a place to be visit. It has interesting buildings like Santa Ana Church or Casa del Cabildo. The village is surrounded by an incredible landscape declared National Park and its volcanic beaches are worth to see. The center of the tourist activity is La Candelaria Basilica, a huge building constructed with people donations. The projects responsible is Enrique Marreno Regalado. Inside, there are a splendid set of mural paintings made by José Aguiar. If you are looking for a truly local experience, Candelaria is the place to be.