Almond BlossomA festival full of history
In november 1969 the young people of Tejeda decided to join together and form the Youth Club. With all their social and cultural concernes, the young man and women started to organize and promote a big diversity of encounters and activities.
One of their first organized performances was the party called PUM70. That name had a doble signified, one of them was to canalize their concerns by organizing entertainment events that could reach all the young people of Tejeda and with the special seal of this new formed group with a great desire to work. The other meaning was the special date for this celebration wich coincided with the flowering period of the almond trees, at the end of january, covering the hillsides of our village in white and pink.
This first edition of the party was such a big succes, that the next year 71 the Youth Club and the townhall decided the joint organization of the mass and at the same time they changed the name of the party to “Almond Blossom Festival”, name that has been perpetuated in time. After a few years the municipality became in charge of organizing the party without the direct involvement of the youth club.
From his beginnings, something that has been maintained throughout its history, the festival has revolved around the maintenance and enhancement of customs and traditions like: traditional folklore, typical dance, gastronomy, popular games, handicrafts and samples of trades and traditional works. All this taking place on the streets of the village, where in every corner we can find a sample of Canary Island identity.
During this 51 years of history, there were only three ocasions we had to suspend the celebration, in 1982 due to lack of funding of the local government at that time and in 2018, because of heavy rains and snowfalls in our área, wich made it imposible to carrie out the festival like it was planed. And recently in 2021 because of the worlwide pandemic situation caused by COVID19, waiting for the development of the same in order to be able to celebrate de 50th edition of the festival.
The almond blossom festival was the first pagan festival established as such on Gran Canaria and one of the first ones in all of the Canary Islands.
Almost all the festivals on the archipelago, exepting carnival, are taking place during the spring and summer month. This one takes place during the Winter, on the first weekend in February, coinciding with the almond blossom wich used to be during January and February. In the community there is no other important festival celebrating the flowering of the fields, the only celebrated one is the almond blossom.
One aspect that gives even more relevance and originality to this festival is, that years later other communities of the islands made their own versión of the same, like Puntagorda on the island of La Palma, and in Gran Canaria the municipalities of Valsequillo and the most recent one San Bartolome de Tirajana.
The festival still mantains the reminiscense of his origins, the deep conexión of the people with his customs and traditions. And so, despite the passage of time and changes in the society, these traditions have been maintained and have become un unmistakable symbol of Canariety.
During the Almond Blossom Festival of Tejeda all neighborhoods actively participate in the celebration. Each one, through their respective neighborhood association, takes over a stand on the maind road of the village, decorates and prepares it for the weekend.
The representatives of each stand, dressed in their typical costumes, offer visitors tastings of local products and typical local food. Every stand offers something different, so a wide variety of dishes can be tasted. Without a doubt this is the most significant point of the festival. There are also stands with handycrafts made of different materials and typical canarian food and drinks. It is worth noting that the local government offers the posibility to NGOs and other non-profit entities to have their own stand, so they can raise money during the festival.
During the two days of the festival, like every year, there will be different Folk Music and Dance Groups distributed on the main road of the village. The performances are not concentrated on a single stage like in other similar festivals. Every corner is a stage, wherefrom the traditional music and dance fills the streets with joy and happiness.
From the beginning, the purpose of the Allmond Blossom Festival was not only to celebrate, but to conserve our traditions and signs of identity. Like we said before, this spirit lasts until today, so along with the music and the dance, there is another very important part of the festival which are the demonstrations of indigenous games and sports like “Canarian Wrestling – Lucha Canaria”, the typical canarian fight with a wooden stick “Lucha del Garrote” or “The shepherd’s leap – Salto del Pastor”.