The Patron Saint Festivities of Adeje are distinguished by their historical tradition that goes back to the promise made by the population at that time that the Virgin of the Incarnation would free them from the locust plague.
The origin of the October festival dates back to the year 1694, when, faced with a plague of Berber cigar, the people made a vow of promise before the Miraculous Image of Our Lady of the Incarnation, to celebrate the festival after having freed the people from said plague of locusts. Years later, in 1737, the people forgot the promise and the plague returned. Returning to invoke the Sacred Image, to intercede, and after the miracle, the people renewed that vow to make him a party every year in gratitude for having freed the people from that plague. Being held from that moment without interruption.
In the historical documentation, both in the parish archive and in that of the Casa Fuerte, there are numerous documentation of masses commissioned to the Incarnation, such as the one offered in 1684 by Bartolomé Delgado or that of Beatriz Francisco in 1775. It is worth highlighting the provisions that the Ponte family established in their wills, such as Bartolomé de Ponte, who in 1635 established a chaplaincy of sung mass, eve and procession every year. Or the one established by the Marchioness Magdalena Luisa de Llarena y Viña, in 1775 in order to have 52 masses for the Incarnation throughout the year.
The devotion to the Incarnation and the commitment of the town to its celebration make that documents appear that testify the payment that the residents of the nuclei of Taucho, Ifonche or Tijoco made to the celebration of the Incarnation. In the Archive of the Strong House, we have found the “Memory of the subjects who owe the payment of the Incarnation festival between 1777 and 1779. Another document from 1783 also appears with the names and contributions that the residents of Tijoco Alto and Bajo, Taucho, Ifonche and the urban area gave for the party. All this testifies to the devotion of the Adejero people towards their patron throughout the centuries.
The development of the Fiestas has had different stages in terms of the acts and events that were carried out. In the early years of the 20th century, we find references to the festivities in honor of the Virgin of the Incarnation and the head of the Temple, Santa Úrsula, whose name day is celebrated on October 21. Thus, in 1904, the Virgin went out in procession on October 22 with the following program:
At 8 o’clock at night, name the Blessed Virgin of the Incarnation. Once this act is concluded, said image will appear in procession, going through the streets of the town, whose houses will be adorned by burning colorful fire wheels on the way.
Already in 1910 it was established that the festivities were celebrated on the second Sunday in October, with the solemn function of the Virgin taking place on Sunday at noon and leaving the Monday of the festival for Santa Úrsula. Sunday afternoon was dedicated to entertainment such as fireworks or the raising of hot air balloons representing grotesque figures.
In the festival program of 1915, the ceremony of raising the throne of the Virgin is reflected in the press, prior to the midday procession. The act of elevation consisted of a complex apparatus that was assembled for the celebration, assembled, the structure occupied the entire presbytery and the canopy was raised by means of a spindle, something similar to that of the Virgen de Las Nieves in La Palma. Of all these elements, some pieces remain, it was stopped because of the complexity of the assembly until that ceremony of the elevation of the throne finally disappeared from the festive program.
We have found more references in the historical press to the festivities during the 20th century, which generally maintain the same scheme, being celebrated on the second Sunday in October, dedicating Sunday to the Virgin of the Incarnation and Monday to Santa Úrsula. From the 1930s on, in the square, which was renamed the Plaza de Fray Albino, in homage to the bishop, literary evenings were held and Miss Adeje began to be celebrated, whose winner received a manila shawl. It will be from the sixties and seventies, with the influence of tourism, when renewed ideas arrive for the holidays, while maintaining the essence. Among those renewed ideas, the parade on Saturday afternoon with floats made by the different neighborhood groups stood out.
An important milestone was the year 1979, the festivities were organized by the Young Tagoror, establishing the first pilgrimage offering in honor of the patrons. Staying since that year and being one of the most anticipated events by Adejeros and visitors.
Another important milestone was the visit to the neighborhoods of the municipality that the image of the Incarnation carried out in 1994, coinciding with the 300 years of the celebration of the festival, concluding that pastoral visit with the Canonical Coronation of the image. On the part of the Bishop of the Nivariensis Diocese, Mr. Felipe Fernández García.
On December 8, 2004, coinciding with the tenth anniversary of the Coronation, and based on the positive experiences of the pastoral visits that the image of the Incarnation carried out in 1994 and in 2001 (the two-thousand-year anniversary of the birth of Christ), the bishop decrees the authorization for the lustral visit of Our Lady of the Incarnation, his exact words were:
«We institute a visit from Our Lady of the Incarnation to all the payments and Christian communities that may exist in the municipality of Adeje on the dates that the bishop, after hearing the civil authorities, and in agreement with the priests, deems more appropriate every five years starting next year 2005 ».
Thanks to the Adeje City Council and its involvement in the organization and development of the festivities, adding new events and celebrations, it has been possible to increase even more faith in the devotional trilogy of the adejeros and adejeras, the Virgen de la Encarnación, San Sebastián and Santa Úrsula.
Emilia González, hawker of the 2021 parties
Emilia González Delgado, Adejera with a degree in Physical Sciences and television presenter for decades, was in charge of kicking off the Patron Saint Festivities of Adeje in Honor of Our Lady the Virgin of the Incarnation and the co-patrons, the Virgin of Santa Úrsula and San Sebastián.
In an act chaired by the mayor of the municipality, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, and by the parish priest, Agalac Alonso Siverio, and before a full capacity in the old Convent of Adeje, next to the Town Hall, González Delgado made a review of the history of the festivities, some legends about the miracles of La Encarnación and her own personal experiences when, as a child, she played and participated in the municipality’s own large festivals.
The proclamation began with a tribute to the Island of La Palma and those who suffer the consequences of the volcano and with a few words from the mayor explaining the help of his municipality with the palm trees. “The big week of Adeje serves to renew our ancestral vow with the Virgin of the Incarnation, who has helped our people so much in times of famine, drought or plagues,” said the mayor, who added that “the festivities have never stopped to celebrate and we are not going to do it either, respecting what is essential, which is to fulfill our commitment to our ancestors and our oldest promises that have shaped us as a people ”.
Emilia González began her speech by recalling that “it is essential to know where we come from, what our roots are. This is the only way to live a conscious present and project a rooted future. They don’t value it now, but when a couple of decades fall on them, these words will make sense ”, addressing the youngest of the municipality on whom the responsibility of maintaining traditions will soon fall.
“The image of the Virgin of the Incarnation was found in La Enramada in the 16th century and was worshiped there for a time, in the Cueva del Humilladero,” explained the proclaimer, to recall that it was later taken to the old hermitage of the patron San Sebastián, but that, finally, “and to protect it from pirates, he moved to the Parish of Santa Úrsula” in the town center.
Emilia remembered her childhood as Adejera, participating in the different activities of the time. «You have not lived an eighties childhood in Adeje if you did not go through the Banda de Música, through Paco Lima to learn to play the guitar or through Lo Divino. Many mornings we spent singing through the neighborhoods: Taucho, La Quinta, Tijoco Arriba, a cold that peeled, entertained in every house with biscuits and hot chocolate ».
To conclude, the hawker showed her admiration for how Adeje has grown, “a great multicultural city with facilities typical of any capital. There is a future for those who live here and also for those who come and integrate to give shape and meaning to the municipality. This is a town that entertains everyone who wants to enjoy it, that adopts everyone who needs it and I feel proud of it ».