Pilgrimage of San Marcos (Tegueste)
SAN MARCOS POPULAR PILGRIMAGE
The Pilgrimage of Tegueste, in honour of San Marcos, is also a tribute to the floklore and traditions of the Islands. The festivities start by choosing the "Romera Mayor", a sort of carnival queen. The proclamation of the fiestas comes after several bouts of Canary Island wrestling, athletics and basketball matches, etc.
The popular pilgrimage itself is what makes these somewhat profane fiestas striking. It is a procession of floats decorated with the natural produce of the countryside, carts, folklore groups from all the Islands, flocks of livestock, yoked oxen, dancers, etc. all accompanied by crowds of people in traditional dress.
After the pilgrimage, the livestock is blessed and an offering is made to San Marcos, consisting of an assortment of farm produce. The next day, the Fiestas Committee hold a potato bake with all the local population. The final act of the fiestas is a bonfire to burn an effigy. The rag doll is made from straw and old clothes, representing a public figure, which is burned amid the shouts, criticism and insults of the public. This bonfire is a ritual manner of returning to the routine of everyday life.