Festivities at Valsequillo are more than fun. They are a time to bring traditions back to life, revive the occupations and crafts of our ancestors, enjoy traditional music, taste farm products and cuisine.
The patron saint festivity of San Miguel Arcángel, which takes place on September 29th, is to be highlighted from amongst the municipality’s main festivals, with the saint being held in high regard by the faithful, denoting gallantry and the battle between good and evil. Other important festivals are the Livestock Fair and the already traditional Suelta del Perro Maldito (Unleashing of the Damned Dog), during which the neighbors stage the following popular saying:
On the night of Saint Michael
at your window I rap
but open I do not, as unleashed is
Saint Michael’s Dog.
This tradition started sometime between 1803 and 1807 when the sculptor Luján Pérez made the sculpture of the Saint under commission of the Presbyter Don Antonio Macías Gutíerrez, born in Valsequillo, who provided the artist with the trunk of a chestnut tree that had been felled on the boundaries of the village. It is said that Luján was inspired by a small 20 cm high image that existed in the parish.
The new sculpture with a horrific and malevolent dog at its feet inspired horror and awe in the people: some would see the image of the Dog reflected in the darkness, while others would say that Saint Michael appeared before them, commenting that the Dog was unleashed on the eve of the Saint’s festivity.
The pyrotechnic show that represents the brilliant burning of fireworks, in charge of the locally known artisan Don Ramón Martel Dávila, imparts the night of Saint Michael with splendor and, hand-in-hand with the already mentioned Unleashing of the Damned Dog, attracts locals and foreigners alike.
Apart from the municipality’s traditional festivities, mention is to be made to the celebration of Saint John the Baptist, during which Tenteniguada lights traditional bonfires on the magical night of June 24th, thus igniting and experiencing the popular “Noche de Brujas” (Night of Witches).
Every August 16th the Valle de San Roque is festooned in flags and garlands to celebrate its patron saint.
Finally the Festivities of the Almond Tree, during which the flowering of these rustic trees is celebrated, the same during the first fortnight of February.
All of these festivities are further enriched with the participation of the municipality’s different musical groups, such as the Agrupación Folklórica Los Lomitos, the band Los Picachos de Tenteniguada, the Municipal Music School, and the bands Almogarén, Parranda del “medio jigo p’al kilo” and Parranda Valsequillera .
We must also underscore another cultural manifestation, none other than the Rancho de Ánimas de Valsequillo, a social and cultural phenomenon that has been transmitted from generation to generation and that “sings and prays for the souls that are tormented in Purgatory”. This Rancho de Ánimas performs during the celebration of the Almond Tree Festivities in the different neighborhoods that make up the “Flowering Almond Tree Route”, the same accompanied by string instruments and other percussion instruments such as tambourines, swords and diverse drums.
The islands’ indigenous sports tradition, Canarian Wrestling (Lucha Canaria), endures in Valsequillo, the same represented by the Almogarén Wrestling Club, which participates in different federated competitions, as well as in exhibitions that take place during the festivities.
And each of the festivities in each neighbourhood is a celebration we would like to invite you to share.
CALENDAR OF FESTIVITIES
The Almond Tree 1st fortnight of February
Los Llanetes: 3rd Week of April
Luis Verde: End of April – May 1st (The Horse)
Las Vegas: 1st fortnight of May
Tecén: 1st fortnight of May
Valle de San Roque: Third weekend of May (Virgen de Fátima)
Lomitos de Correa: End of May – June
Tenteniguada: Month of June (San Juan Bautista)
La Cantera: 1st week of July
El Rincón: 1st fortnight of July
Era de Mota: 2nd fortnight of July
Valle de San Roque: Month of August (San Roque)
La Barrera: End of August – September
Valsequillo Center: Month of September – October (San Miguel Arcángel)