The Canarian artist Pepe Dámaso (88 years old) was in charge of bringing last night, through Canarian Television, the proclamation of the festivities of the Virgin of Candelaria, General Patron of the Canary Archipelago, to all the homes of the Islands, after be engraved on the altar of the Basilica next to the Morenita’s throne.
The rector of the Basilica and prior of the Dominicans, José Ramón Enjamio, welcomed the town crier, Pepe Dámaso, and all those who attended in person and through television: “The Villa de Candelaria is a meeting point for love and faith to our Dark-haired Virgin, but it is also a starting point, as our illustrious town crier always remembers, because it is a pilgrimage point where the love of the Mother approaches all the canaries of the eight islands and those who are in other places, but they invoke it from the heart. In addition, I must emphasize that this year we are celebrating the 800 years of the passing of our father Santo Domingo, founder of the Dominicans, Santo Domingo de Guzmán. For this reason, allow me to remind all those who have left us victims of this pandemic that still continues to plague us, that we have in this meeting at the feet of La Morenita a memory to all their family and friends, and of course, a memory for all the health workers who today continue to fight tirelessly against the virus ”.
Next, the mayor of Candelaria, Mari Brito, explained Pepe Dámaso’s connection with the town and pointed out that in 2021 the municipality “extends its carpet of sand and sea to receive the proclamation, the work and the presence of a living legend of the art. An essential character in the Canarian artistic construction who is reunited with the attractiveness and faith of the Virgin, when 70 years have passed since the sale of his first painting and the organization of a first exhibition in his native Agaete ”. Brito gave him a warm welcome: “Welcome to the light of the candle that blesses your generosity with this Marian village and with the Canarian people, to whom you have donated all your artistic heritage. Welcome your aesthetic and personal struggle against death, your iconic skulls. Welcome your modernity, your struggle, your reaffirmation. Welcome your countenance, your laugh, your charisma, your teaching and your example. We needed a light in times of pandemic and Chaxiraxi has sent it ”, he concluded.
The teacher Dámaso took the floor and highlighted, showing the audience the handkerchief and the crozier that he created thinking about Candelaria and how the idea came about, “one day watching television I saw the feet of the pilgrims who walked with so much faith that I wanted to create an identity that characterized them, that they could wear it naturally; It is the light of the Virgin that has wanted me to return to Candelaria, 17 years later, despite my illness. Art is not easy. Suddenly I find that they invite me to tell them about the festivities, about the Patron Saint of the Canary Islands and wanting to inform me of the story in such a long and beautiful way that I could not summarize it, I can only tell you that I am very happy to be in the Basilica ” .
Dámaso explained the artistic bond of the Basilica, designed by the architect Marrero Regalado and containing the works of José Aguiar, who have not followed the avant-gardes, but have built their path expressing art through the styles that they felt and filled them with.
“With my cane, my handkerchief and my wish that we all be brothers between the Islands, I must confess here that emotion like the one I had in my center, in La Isleta, when the Prior of the Basilica came, and I saw the mayor of Candelaria , to my mayor who barely knew the city, to the mayor of Teror, that I know there is that pique among them, and I saw that they were all dedicated, with a joy, with a passion and an ecumenical enthusiasm that I think is where The world has to go, a God of all, a God who comforts us and gives us peace and who, in this difficult moment of the coronavirus, makes us better, more supportive and more loving in the Archipelago. Thank you very much God bless you all ”, he concluded.
The finishing touch was the musical performance with voices by Fabiola Socas, Ayatimas Brito, Ayla Rodríguez and Zaida Almeida with a repertoire exclusively created for this act, which all the Canaries could see on television last night.
In 1714 it was changed from February to August
The Candelaria festival is celebrated around the world on February 2, as the Virgin of the Candelas who announced the Lord. A date that until 1714 remained unchanged as the great day of the Patroness of the Canary Islands. That year, the death, by freezing, of five women who were pilgrims from the north of the island determined that the Dominican fathers moved the great festival to August 15, the Assumption of the Virgin, according to Octavio Rodríguez, official chronicler of Candelaria and Güímar.
Yesterday, in Onda Tenerife, the chronicler recalled that in those years, and more so in February, “snowfalls were copious on the island, where ice wells were common.” Rodríguez, faced with the heat wave this weekend, did not hesitate to predict that “just as with climate change we will have to change again and go on pilgrimage again in February”, something in which he agreed with the prior.
Guanche Ceremony and La Luchada on television
This 2021 Candelaria revives through television the traditions of the festivities in honor of the Virgin of Candelaria in a very emotional program that is broadcast at 9:30 p.m. on Canary Television. The skin of faith is the documentary that has been made on this occasion to disseminate and show the faith that each year accompanies the people participating in the Guanche Ceremony, a symbolic representation full of respect, enthusiasm and sensitivity to preserve the Canarian identity.
Likewise, the Consistory has opted to also retake La Luchada, an August classic, with a representation of fighters from the municipality. The vernacular sport returns to Candelaria and to television after a complex year due to the restrictions of the health crisis.
The mayor of Candelaria, Mari Brito, and the councilor for Fiestas, Canarian Identity and Historical Heritage, Manuel González, invite citizens to enjoy the municipality and its deep-rooted traditions through television. “The protagonists are our neighbors, those who with their devotion and affection make the festivities possible. We greatly appreciate the participation of all the groups that will be able to see in the program, because they contribute to our goal for this 2021: that they do not make a pilgrimage to Candelaria, but each person can feel close to the Patron ”, they point out.