At Prestige Holidays, our advisors have had years of experience crafting unforgettable holiday experiences that are uniquely suited to our clients. For those of you who are inspired by different cultures, we recommend timing a holiday in Tenerife with the Fiesta San Sebastian.
Tenerife is certainly one of our favourite destinations. Its vast natural beauty, stunning architecture and deep historical and religious roots make it the perfect place to spend a holiday. Whether you’re simply enjoying the glorious weather or delving into the island’s historic past, you can get a taste of real Canarian tradition with this unusual Fiesta…
San Sebastian is a widely beloved and celebrated saint across the island, and in the month of January, a Fiesta is held in La Caleta to honour him. The saint was known to be a courageous centurion, a patron of archers and pin makers and a protector against plague. He is represented in several pieces of Christian artwork and architecture today.
Although the Fiesta became a traditional event in the 1700’s, the statue of San Sebastian was only brought to the local parish in 1916. Since then, locals have continued their devotions in their own unique ways, often visiting the statue. Some have claimed to have been cured or granted favours by him. Visiting the alleged miracle-worker should definitely be part of your Tenerife itinerary if you enjoy Canarian culture.
A Famous Fiesta
The commemorative spectacle is wonderfully unusual, and thousands of locals and tourists gather each year to witness the extraordinary events. The celebration begins at San Sebastian Church with Mass (as it has every year since the eighteenth century), which is followed by a procession that is held through the streets of La Caleta. The final display takes place at La Enramada beach, where there is a traditional animal bathing ceremony.
The bathing is a practise honouring San Sebastian’s ability to ward off ill-health and plague. It usually involves horses, but donkeys, camels and family pets are also taken to be bathed and blessed in the water. It is said that the blessed animals will remain in good health throughout the year.
Where to Stay
Located in the heart of Costa Adeje and just 5km from La Caleta, Hotel Colon Guanahani would be the ideal place to stay if you plan to attend the fiesta.
The adults-only, four-star hotel is a classic example of luxury living, with beautiful sea views and stylishly furnished bedrooms. The Colonial-style hotel is designed with an artistic flare, evident with its spacious balconies, tasteful décor and intricately planned outdoor space that weaves between luxurious pools.
Enjoy the delectable cuisine that Colon Guanahani has to offer at the onsite restaurants, from the expertly prepared menu at the buffet-style eatery to the luxury dishes at the poolside bar and restaurant, La Pérgola.