El Médano, that enchanting corner of southern Tenerife, dresses up every year to celebrate the Romería Barquera, an event that combines the richness of Canarian tradition with deep spirituality. This unique fiesta attracts visitors and locals alike, and in this article, we explore the history and charm of this annual celebration.

The Origin of the Romería Barquera

The Romería Barquera de El Médano has its roots in the ancient religious traditions of the Canary Islands. It is held in honour of the Virgen del Carmen, patron saint of fishermen and sailors. The Virgen del Carmen is considered the protector of those who depend on the sea for their livelihood and security, and her devotion is especially evident in this pilgrimage.

The Parade of Boats and Devotees

One of the most emblematic parts of the Romería Barquera is the parade of boats decorated with flowers and flags. These boats, which are carefully decorated by the local fishermen, carry an image of the Virgen del Carmen. This parade is a testimony to the devotion of the fishermen and their gratitude for the protection of the sea. The parade departs from the beach and heads towards the local church, where a special mass is held in honour of the Virgin.

The Mass and the Festivities

The mass is a moving moment in the Romería Barquera, where devotees gather to pray and give thanks for the protection and blessings of the sea. After the religious ceremony, the real festivities begin, with music, dancing, typical Canarian food and traditional drinks such as malvasia wine.

Spirituality and Community

The Romería Barquera is more than just a religious celebration; it is an event that unites the community of El Médano around its maritime heritage. The bonds of camaraderie and solidarity between fishermen and local inhabitants are strengthened during this event, which is also an opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in Canarian culture.

Date and Location:

  • The Romería Barquera is held annually in September. This year from 15 to 24 September 2023.
  • The event takes place in El Médano, a coastal town in the south of Tenerife.

Transport:

  • El Médano is accessible from Tenerife South Airport, which is approximately 10-15 minutes away by car.
  • You can also get there by bus from other parts of the island.
  • If you plan to attend the Romería Barquera, it is advisable to arrive early, as the car park can fill up quickly.

Accommodation:

  • El Médano has a variety of accommodation options including hotels, flats and hostels.
  • Book your accommodation in advance, especially during the peak tourist season.

What to Bring:

  • Comfortable clothing suitable for Tenerife's hot climate in summer.
  • Sunscreen and hat, as the event takes place outdoors.
  • Cash, as you may want to sample the local food and drink at the food stalls.
  • Camera or phone to capture the memorable moments of the parade and festivities.

Event Programme:

Friday, 15 September

  • 17:00 h: Start of the Fair's ATRACTIONS
  • 19:00 h: Parade with the fanfare "Peña El Casco" from La Orotava.
  • 21:00 h: NIGHT WALK to Ere del Hermano Pedro

Saturday, 16 September

  • 21:00 h: BAILE DE TAIFA, presented by Rayco Vargas, with performances by Parranda Chasnera, Parranda pal Porrón and Orquesta Tejina.

Sunday, 17 September

  • 18:00 h: Performance by DILE QUE SI Dance School
  • 20:00 h: VERBENA with the group Nueva

Tuesday, 19 September

  • 19:00 h: ZUMBA with Monica Ginel

Wednesday, 20 September

  • 18:00 h: CHILDREN'S DAY with Olga Glez and Dj's David Pérez

Thursday, 21 September

  • 19:00 h: Performance by Manuel Dorta

Friday, 22 September

  • 14:00 h: LUNCH WITH THE FISHERMEN AND WOMEN OF THE VILLAGE in the Restaurant El Templete
  • 20:00 h: 80's PLAYER PARTY with DJ's, Grupo Miss Music Band, Grupo Los Lola and Grupo Salvapantallas.

Saturday, 23 September

  • 12:00 h: YINCANA in the Plaza with Olga Glez and Dj's David Pérez
  • 19:00 h: AFTERNOON VERBENA with the Saoco Group
  • 20:30 h: HOLY MASS
  • 21:30 h: PROCESSION accompanied by the Jose Reyes Martin Music Band and FIREWORKS by the fireworks company "Estalella".
  • 23:00 h: VERBENA with the orchestras Wamampy and Malibú Band

Sunday, 24 September

  • XV ROMERÍA BARQUERA
  • 10:00 h: PASACALLE with Floats, Fanfare "Peña El Casco" and Folkloric Groups.
  • 11:00 h: HOLY MASS AND SOLIDARITY OFFERING to the Virgin with the Dancers of the Pinar de El Hierro.
  • 12:30 hXVI ROMERÍA BARQUERA EMBARCACIÓN de Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes de Roja, walk around the bay of El Médano with Juan Antonio "El Charro".
  • 14:00 h: VERBENA with performances by Grupo Kimbara, Orquesta Wamampy, Malibú Band and Orquesta Tropin.
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