June 27, 2019 in the small town of La Orotava in Tenerife will be held a bright and beautiful Carpet Day (El Dia de los Alfombras). This event is celebrated annually on the island on the eighth day after the Catholic holiday of Corpus Cristi, or the Body and Blood of Christ. And since the date of Corpus Cristi in the church calendar is not constant and depends on Easter, then the date of the Carpet Day in Tenerife changes annually. For example, in 2018, El Dia de los Alfombras was held on June 7, almost three weeks earlier than this year.
On Carpet Day, a procession led by the bishop takes place along the main streets of La Orotava. Priests, faithful residents of the city and tourists are walking along the streets of the town decorated with carpets. These carpets are paintings of multi-colored volcanic stones, flowers and sand. They are carefully laid out by the hands of the best masters of the Canary Islands, as well as men, women and children, living in La Orotava.
The process of creating carpets is quite painstaking. For it, you should draw an ornament or a picture of the future carpet and prepare materials: divide the flowers into petals, sort them, like Cinderella, pebbles of different colors by shades, dye the heather flowers in different colors by firing them.
When all this is ready, proceed to the “assembly” of the carpet. At first, a huge paper pattern should laid on the ground – the base. Then on it spread the prepared materials. Traditionally, flower carpets depict scenes from the life of Jesus Christ, Mary, the saints, scenes from the New and Old Testament of the Bible, social pictures (refugees, poverty, mercy, etc.).
Carpets on the streets of the city begin to spread directly on the Day itself Carpets. It takes several hours to create flower paintings. These masterpieces spread the hands of children, old and young residents of the city from 9 to 13 hours. You can see, how this happens with your own eyes, arriving in La Orotava on June 27, 2019. The easiest way to get to the city is from Puerto de la Cruz. From there go direct buses № 348, 350, 352, 353. The journey time is from 20 to 25 minutes. From the capital of Tenerife, the city of Santa Cruz, in La Orotava can be reached by direct bus number 107 for 45 minutes.
But if you arrive on the island a month before this event, you also have the chance to see, how La Orotava’s largest and most luxurious carpet is created. It takes place near the City Hall building. In the square in front of it, 3 large linen tents are installed, which protect the created design from rain, sun and wind. Under them masters work on a future masterpiece for about a month. Its drawing, by the way, never repeats. Last year I visited the city a week before the upcoming holiday and was able to see, how professional men laid out a religious pattern.
You can read more about the history of the holiday Carpet Day in the article The Best Cities of Tenerife. From it you will learn about the sights of this old town, see a lot of photos and understand, why La Orotava is definitely worth a visit while on holiday on the largest Canary island.
June 27 at 18:30 in the temple of Nuestra Senora de la Concepcion will begin a solemn mass. And after its completion, the procession will move from the city hall through the streets of the town, sweeping away the masterpieces, so painstakingly, created for more, than one hour, with their feet. In memory of the Carpet Day, it will be possible to take a piece of the flower carpet with you: a pebble, a petal. And remember this amazing holiday, dreaming to see it again.