Candelaria will live this weekend in a very different way than what has been traditional before the arrival of the pandemic. There will be no mass events or processions or Guanche ceremony. Will not reach the municipality 200,000 visitors who usually go to the Basilica throughout the festivities. For this purpose, the City Council and the Cabildo have prohibited pilgrimage along paths and roads from the north and south of the Island, but even so, a large presence of faithful is always expected at the feet of La Morenita, who from day 2 -and until the 22nd – she is already to the right of the main altar, dressed for the occasion with a cloak between orange and bronze that opens this year, with 18th century brocades, a gift from Ramón and Vina, the Hindu couple who own the company KS77 . “Almost 90% of the Virgin’s mantles have been donated by Hindus,” Jaime Estévez, designer of the mantle and waiter of the Virgin, tells the newspaper, also in charge, with the Leomami company, of the exquisite floral decoration.
Already during this week, pilgrims have come from all over the Island to the Basilica, many of them carrying flowers or simply to fulfill a promise. Scenes of tears have been seen as they knelt before the image and others opted for the selfie with the mobile phone. The Basilica will be open every day except tomorrow night, among other reasons to prepare the Sunday homilies, with the one at noon presided over by Bishop Bernardo Álvarez and the presence of the authorities, in the only great official act that will be held in face-to-face way.
The Basilica will be the scene today of the proclamation of the festivities of the General Patron of the Canary Archipelago, by the international artist Pepe Dámaso. A proclamation that was recorded last week and will reach the homes of all canaries through television.
“With the aim of bringing La Morenita closer to the homes of all Canaries, because this year we must continue to be prudent and avoid crowds due to the health crisis, we raised the Proclamation in television and radio format, through television Canaria, at 10 p.m. The media are our allies for another year to make a pilgrimage with our hearts and enjoy an emotional proclamation that will feature artists of recognized prestige in the musical field such as Fabiola Socas and Ayatimas Brito, with the collaboration of Ayla Rodríguez and Zaida Almeida ”, says the mayor, Mari Brito.
The proclamation, presented by the journalist Laura Afonso, features this musical illustration originally created for this act, where different female voices from Tenerife, La Palma and Fuerteventura come together to honor the Virgin of Candelaria.
Damaso’s relationship with Candelaria is fertile. In 2004, accentuating her faith for La Morenita, she created a collection to symbolize the pilgrims who come to see her. Staffs, handkerchiefs and badges make up a series that shows us the most believing and intimate Dámaso, designs that have awaited their moment to reappear and meet in a public exhibition on the occasion of the celebrations of the Patron Saint of the Canary Islands 2021, whose poster is also a work of the artist. He in turn wanted to stamp for Candelaria an urban macromural with fishing and pottery as a claim, which is in the process of being executed, as well as a permanent exhibition of the artist in the municipality, according to the mayor, Mari Brito, in the visit that It was done a few weeks ago at the Pepe Dámaso Cultural Center, in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, where the name of the artist from Agaete was made official as a town crier.