Canary Islands


Canary Islands


Similar to the rest of Spain, the Canary Islands are Roman Catholic. Religion is an important role in community life, all religious festivals are lavashly celebrated, and many fiestas are of a religious origin.

Most of the churches on the islands are Roman Catholic, their opening hours do differ from those in th UK, some are only open during services. Hotel reception desks and tourist information centres can usually provide these details.

A multi-denominational church 'Templo Ecumenico' has recently opened on Gran Canaria, in Playa del Ingles. A similar chuch can be found in Puerto de la Cruz on Tenerife.

Little is known of the religion of the Guanches. They appear to have been a distinctly religious race. There was a general belief in a supreme being, called Acoran, in Grand Canary , Achihuran in Teneriffe, Eraoranhan in Hierro, and Abora in Palma . The women of Hierro worshipped a goddess called Moneiba. According to tradition the male and female gods lived in mountains whence they descended to hear the prayers of the people.

In other islands the natives venerated the Sun, Moon, Earth and Stars. A belief in an evil spirit was general. The demon of Teneriffe was called Guayota and lived in the peak of Teide volcano, which was the Hell called Echeyde.

In times of drought the Guanches drove their flocks to consecrated grounds, where the lambs were separated from their mothers in the belief that their plaintive bleatings would melt the heart of the Great Spirit. During the religious feasts all war and even personal quarrels were stayed.