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The Romería of San Roque
From: 2014.08.16 To: 2014.08.16
Romerías are sort of harvest festivals where food and wine is freely dished out from the backs of ox drawn carts by dark eyed chicas wearing bustiers and rainbow coloured skirts and smiling chicos in scarlet waistcoats and breeches. The Romería of San Roque in Garachico on Tenerife’s north west coast is one of the oldest and most important on the island, it also takes place in possibly the most picturesque town in the Canary Islands…and the unluckiest. In the past Garachico has had its harbour and economy destroyed by lava from a volcanic eruption; been devastated by floods and also plagued by locusts and pestilence. The San Roque celebrations, held on the 16th August, have their roots in Garachico’s patron saint, San Roque, delivering the town from five years of bubonic plague. But that was all a long time ago, nowadays there’s no need to worry. Simply buy a ‘vasito de romería’ (a small glass on a string), find a cool spot in the shade of a ridiculously pretty historic building and wait as ox drawn cart after ox drawn cart, interspersed with dancers and traditional bands, trundles past. Boiled potatoes, eggs, gofio cakes, pork kebabs and chunks of steak are thrust into your hands by their inhabitants whilst gregarious men insist your ‘vasito’ is kept permanently filled by ‘vino del país’ (robust country wine). Don’t be shy about accepting anything that’s thrust your way as it’s considered rude to decline.