Tenerife’s Three Hearts That Drives the Town Wild

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The Hearts of Tejina, more locally known as ‘The Fiesta of Los Corazones de Tejina’, is a festival that is which brings out all of the people in Tejina. It celebrates the harvest of the year in the town. This is a festival that has been opened by celebrities in the past such one of the top international singers of all time Julio Iglesias.  Many flock out of their apartments in Tenerife to come to this festival.

One of the main attractions, or as some would say they stars, of the week long festivities are three huge hearts that are erected to compete in a beauty contest, these weigh roughly 1000 kilos so it does take a while for them to be out up for the people to admire. The three hearts represent three rival village’s streets: El Pico, Calle Arriba and Calle Abajo. Each are commissioned to arrange the construction of their heart: they begin by collecting money from every house in the area to raise funds for the fruit and flowers that adorn the heart, then during the month they go into the woods to find branch that is strong enough to hold the hearts in place. Also the pastry tarts that will also grace the hearts will begin to get baked.  The frame of the heart is made out of wood and iron, tree branches are knitted across to form two hearts – a large heart that has a smaller one on top of it. Both of them have the Spanish flag bound to the sides of their hearts, the fruit is sewn onto the branches and form the outline and cross of both of the hearts and pastry is sewn in each quarter and shows symbols of religion, traditional costume, agriculture, animals, flora and folklore. The flowers are put at the the top to finish it off. The hearts compete not only in terms of beauty but their artistry. This is when you can see the locals peoples passion and pride at its best as most people are motivated.

On the last Sunday of August around the time of noon the Hearts are paraded through the village whilst being accompanied by minstrels and dancers entertaining the crowds. When the parade reaches the town square in front of the church it is the end of the parade and the hearts are offered to St Bartholomew at the church door, part of a ceremony that is called ‘La Ofrenda’, which means ‘the offering’. This is when they are raised in the air for all of the crowds to get a look at, then the hearts are hung vertically and left in their positions until the next day when people will look forward to the dismantling of the hearts where fruit and cakes are removed and thrown out to the public.

On the next day (Tuesday) the rivalry doesn’t stop – in fact it intensifies as this is the day when the Pique happens. Pique is a singing contest between the village streets where they pay tribute to their hearts, they try to outdo each other by being sarcastic and witty against one another. After the Pique, the singing and dancing continues into the night when a rag dummy called El Haragan is set alight to signal the end of the festivities. El Haragan is paraded through the town where the locals will jeer it. The following week it happens all over again as the kids get their turn and yes they are just as passionate if not more some than the adults.

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