For the second consecutive year, the Fiesta de los Corazones de Tejina had to be adapted to the health reality imposed by Covid-19.
The most important and expected celebration by the inhabitants of this neighborhood of La Laguna was reduced to a few events with limited capacity and changes of locations. There were also no parties around, flying or parties in the street, something unthinkable until a few years ago for a people that waits with devotion for the last Sunday in August.
The large hearts between 600 and 700 kilos in weight and between 7 and 8 in height were replaced by small replicas, smaller in dimensions that did not reach 100 kilos and 2.5 meters in height to be able to be carried more easily by less people.
It was a symbolic offering in which the square gave way to the church of San Bartolomé, where the three main streets of the neighborhood, Calle de Abajo, de Arriba and El Pico, moved their wooden and iron structures ornamented with their characteristic fruits, branches, flowers, and flour cakes to deliver to the patron saint.
The first to arrive at the parish were the representatives from Calle de Abajo, dressed in their characteristic yellow t-shirts, followed by Calle El Pico (green shirt) and lastly, those from Calle de Arriba, in rigorous orange.
At the altar, Saint Bartholomew and the Virgin of the Incarnation, patron saint of Tejina, awaited them, to whom the offering of small hearts is made the following weekend, an activity that is carried out with the children but that on this occasion was unified . The two images were on the altar waiting for the three hearts to arrive: first the two from the sides and lastly in the center, and there they too were facing each other’s street.
Then the usual offerings to both saints were read, that of Saint Bartholomew by an older person and that of the Virgin, in charge of a girl.
The religious ceremony was attended by the councilor of Fiestas Badel Albelo, and the area councilors, both from the government and the opposition, Josimar Hernández and Estefanía Díaz Arias (CC), respectively, in addition to the queen of the Art Festival of 2020 Carmen Delia Perdomo, who has held this title since last year due to the limitations of the pandemic and her four bridesmaids: Andrea Izquierdo, Nayara Hernández, Yaiza González and Sofía Hernández.
The end of the day was marked by the Festival of Exaltation to the Hearts, where the timplista Domingo ‘El Colorao’ put the finishing touch to a celebration that this year could not be carried out in the incomparable setting of the square with hearts shining underneath but in the Unión Tejina theater to avoid crowds.
Despite the expectation that this festival arouses since the day was suitable for it given that the temperature was ideal, people respected the sanitary conditions and did not go out. The church remained open until 9:00 p.m. so that hearts could be visited and it will also do so today from 9:00 a.m. to the same time.
Los Corazones de Tejina, declared a Site of Cultural Interest (BIC) by the Government of the Canary Islands in 2003, is one of the island’s liveliest traditions, a manifestation of popular culture that mixes festivity with religious fervor and has important elements of ethnographic and anthropological value, its neighbors strive to conserve it since it attracts thousands of people to the lagoon nucleus each year, from tourists to residents in other municipalities.
Yesterday, the people of Tejina had to relive their big day in another way, through social networks. Technology allowed all acts to be broadcast telematically so that all citizens can follow them through the social networks of the Association of the Hearts of Tejina.
Its president, Nuhacet Fernández, assured that they have all the hopes placed in the next year to celebrate the moment most awaited by many weavers. “The people have known how to adapt to this new realization and have accepted the changes,” he said.
A change that the wearers of Calle de Abajo wanted to reflect on their t-shirts with the phrase: ‘For who is no longer, for who is, you are part of all this.
The only thing that the pandemic failed to change is that Tejina continues to be a people with a big heart.