Candelaria/Las Caletillas

In 1390, the current Candelaria was a solitary and deserted place where the shepherds would frequent the Guanches of Güimar’s menceyato (Güímar’s pre-Hispanic kingdom). One evening, two natives who were leading their cattle, saw some goats come to the mouth of the ravine. The natives found, on a rock, the Holy Image of the Virgin of Candelaria (declared principal patron saint of the Canary Islands with posteriority).

The image was found in a beach near to Candelaria, initially the image was moved to the Cave of Chinguaro, which was the palace of the King of Güímar.

But later, the same Guanches moved her to Cueva de Achbinico in Candelaria, and there it has been venerated since. The aboriginals identified her with the appearance of their goddess Chaxiraxi (the mother of the gods), but the Christian conquerors insisted that the image was the Virgin Mary. Later a hermitage was constructed and later the Basilica was constructed to Santa Maria.

Nowadays Candelaria is the principal Catholic center of pilgrimage of the Canaries and one of the principal ones of Spain.

The current image of the Virgin of Candelaria is to dress. The image always turns out to be covered by mantles and jeweler’s shop, also she is curiously very venerated by the Hindu community of the Canaries, they refer to her as the black virgin. The image goes out in procession every February 2 (day of Candelaria) and August 15 (day of the Patron of Canaries). The latter date is linked to a former aboriginal celebration (Beñesmen, the crop). It is believed that the Virgin Mary appeared on these dates.

Nowadays, the municipality is visited by thousands of people, not only devout to the Virgin of Candelaria, but tourists exploring the Canarian culture.

Source: Wikipedia