The noisiest, most bizarre traditions, barrels full of wine, roasted chestnuts and a buzzing atmosphere; it can only be the Fiesta de San Andrés (Festival of St Andrew) on the island of Tenerife.
The next time you want to really annoy a grumpy neighbour, do how the Tenerefians do at the Fiesta de San Andrés. The festival falls on 30th November and happens to (conveniently) with the day in which wine cellars open their doors. Yet it's the day before you might need your ear plugs, as noisy celebrations include junk being tied together and slung along the road in a bizarre tradition.
In northern towns such as Puerta de la Cruz, La Orotava and San Juan de La Rambla, the 29th of November marks the Arrastre los Cacharros (dragging of the pots) which sees people (mainly children) - with a string in hand tied to pots, pans and cans - running down roads making a huge racket as they pass jubilant onlookers. And this is just the beginning. Later, objects get bigger and the roads get noisier, with items like old machine drums and microwaves crashing against curbs as they bounce along the street.
One explanation for this crazy tradition is that wine makers used to roll their barrels down to the sea to be cleaned. Another says that when St Andrew visited the island, he would get drunk upon tasting so many varieties of wine and fall asleep; consequently, children would tie cans and pots to him so he'd awaken when turning.
More madness resumes with the Arrastre de los Tableros (dragging of the boards). Brave (some would say crazy) people fly down steep streets on make-shift sledges which are waxed on the bottom for extra speed. We know we aren't your mum, but if you do decide to be one of the 'brave' ones, please be careful.
Assuming you're still in one piece after your adrenaline fix, the evening and following day can be spent tasting the wine brought down to town hotspots by local wineries. As an extra treat, roasted chestnuts will be in abundance (as it's also harvesting time for these) and a vibrant atmosphere sweeps northern Tenerife's restaurants and bars all in celebration of Fiesta de San Andrés. Great music, delicious food and plenty of booze can always be expected at a Spanish fiesta and this one is no different.
So if you decide to visit this incredibly noisy, wine-swigging, chestnut-roasting, street-sledging celebration, please don't bring your antics back to the streets near Travioor.
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