The “fiesta” of the Virgin of the Pines is a perfect opportunity to experience two very important elements of culture in Gran Canaria – deep-rooted traditional beliefs and love of a celebration.
One of the Gran Canaria’s most important “fiestas”, the “Virgen del Pino”- Virgin of the Pines takes place on the 7th-8th of September, in Teror, a picturesque northern mountain town that is surrounded by lush pine forests and is home to some of the island’s best examples of colonial style architecture.
Legend has it that in the 1481, the Virgin Mary appeared in a pine forest to some local shepherds where after “Our Lady of the Pines” became the patron saint of the whole island. Each year thousands of devotees take part in a procession, often walking through the night and carrying their offerings and petitions. For others, their pilgrimage is a way of showing their gratitude for answered prayers.
Since everyone loves a good party in Gran Canary, the majority of people just go along for the celebration afterwards. After arriving at the church in the main square the pilgrims pay their respects to the statue of the virgin – then party really begins.
Filled with stalls selling food and drink the town centre becomes the setting for a huge “verbena” (open-air party). Revellers of all ages dance the night away to the rhythms and beats of traditional Canarian, Spanish and Latin American music.
This “fiesta” is typical of how religious festivals in the Gran Islands have developed and changed over the years into a mix of fun social gathering and religious occasion.
With a friendly party atmosphere and a warm welcome for visitors and holiday makers the Fiesta del Virgen del Pino is a wonderfully fun way to discover a bit more about Gran Canaria.