Fiestas de Pilar, Chimiche
The neighborhood of Chimiche, located in the town of Granadilla de Abona in Tenerife, takes its name comes from the language of the Guanches, the early inhabitants of the Canary Islands who left a legacy of legends, arts and culture.
An intriguing festival called the ‘fiesta de Pilar’, takes place every year in this neighborhood on October 12th. Local youths dressed in striking clothing and holding canes decorated with multi-colored paper ribbons dance a curious dance before the Virgin Mary. This is the ‘dance of the canes’, an expression which belongs to Chimiche and cannot be found in other parts of the Canary Islands.
The dancers, who are called ‘chacareros’, perform precise and elegant movements to the rhythm of stringed instruments and violins. It is thought that these movements are vaguely associated with the movements of the shepherd carrying the sheep. This is inevitably reminiscent of the shepherds during the time of the Guanches, but according to many researchers its origin is actually Catalan: both the attire of the dancers and the musical harmonies recall some parts of Tarragonese folklore. In fact, it is thought that it was a landowner born in Tarragon who began this dance.
So if you go to Tenerife in October don’t miss the opportunity to visit Chimiche and see the dance of the canes. It is a different kind of spectacle in a land waiting to be discovered.