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Fiestas and Events in Gran Canaria


Canarians are a people that work hard and they play even harder. There is nothing they like more than a party and any excuse will do. A lot of the fiestas and celebrations are accompanied by spectacular fireworks. Some of the bigger fiestas and celebrations are celebrated by the whole island at the same time, where some of the fiestas are celebrated locally. We have collected information on a few of the major fiestas. We have separated the fiestas into the months they are celebrated in.

So just select the month you are coming on holiday and have a look at the calendar to see which fiestas are being celebrated. Some of the fiestas and events listed, are local and may include some travelling to enjoy them. The best way to do this of course would be to hire a car.



Date

Event

1 January Fiestas

New Years Day

6 January Fiestas

Kings Day

January Fiestas

Football Tournament

Each year there is a football tournament in Maspalomas which involves mainly European clubs that are on winter training camps.

February Fiestas

Fiesta del Almendro en Flor

(Almond Blossom Festival)

This is one of February´s most colourful fiestas, celebrated, when the almond trees are all in full bloom. It is celebrated on a grand scale in the towns of Valsequillo and Tejeda. Everyone gets dressed up and gets involved, even the houses are decorated. This is a good opportunity to sample the local produce including the Canarian Bienmesabe (tastes good to me), along with Canarian wines and sweets all blended with canarian folk singing and dancing.

February/March Fiestas

Carnival

March/April Fiestas

Easter

April Fiestas

El Corte Inglés Rally

The El Corte Inglés Rally is the biggest car rally in Gran Canaria and attracts competitors from all over the world.

29 April Fiestas

Fiesta de los Aborigenes

(Aborigines Festival)

Near Santa Lucia at the Fortaleza Grande there are huge ceremonies and parties with music and dancing that celebrate this day. All the celebrations mark the final uprising of the Guanches against the Spanish invasion and the annexation of Gran Canaria by the Spanish Crown of Castile in 1483, a really important historic event.

30 April - 7 May Fiestas

Fiesta del Queso del Flor

(Flower Cheese Festival)

This isone of the local fiestas that takes place in the small town of Santa Maria de Guia. Queso de Flor is famous throughout Gran Canaria, it is somewhat of a speciality and is eaten a lot here. The fiesta celebrates the making of the cheese and in true Canarian style the celebrations take the form of a "Parranda" which is a Canarian party consisting of traditional Music and Dancing and of course during this fiesta a good deal of cheese eating.

1 May Fiestas

May day

1 May Fiestas

Feria del Caballo

(Humble horse market)

Valsequillo is home to the Feria del Caballo. This fiesta is a little strange given that there are so few horses on the island of Gran Canaria. In spite of that, this market is very important and held annually alongside an agricultural show.

30 May Fiestas

Día de Las Islas Canarias

(Canary Islands Day)

This fiesta, is as important to the Canarians as July 4th is to the Americans. It marks the day the Crown of Castile granted the rights to an autonomous government to the islands. You will find that, most, if not all shops will be shut except in the tourist areas and even those may well have shortened opened hours. All around the island away from the tourist areas you will find fiestas and celebrations taking place in true Canarian style as well as displays of other local popular culture for example La Lucha Canaria (Canarian Wrestling), stick fighting and displays of folk dancing.

May/ June Fiestas

Corpus Christi

Of all the different fiestas, this fiesta is second only in importance to the Carnival celebrations throughout the Canary islands. This celebration is different from many of the others, as the name would suggest this is more a religious celebration than one to mark a historical or other significant event. During this time the locals use the fiestas to display their religious devotion and a part of this devotion takes form in the decoration of the local square with carpets of flowers laid out in intricate designs. The carpets may also include areas of coloured sand and grasses and truly are a stunning sight. The carpets of flowers often mark the route of the accompanying procession. Las Palmas sees the most vivid and outstanding displays of flower carpets but many other towns and villages also dress up for the celebration of "Corpus Christi" Among some of the more glamorous celebrations there are of course traditional services as well.

18 July Fiestas

Fiesta del Carmen

All around the coast fiestas in honour of this patron saint are significant because "Fiesta del Carmen" celebrates the patron saint of all the fisherman. When you realise how important fishing is to Gran Canaria it comes as no surprise that this celebration is patronized by so many. Many livelihoods to this day, rely on the fruits of the sea and what she is willing to surrender. Most ports will see fiestas around this time but significantly in Arguineguin, Puerto de Mogán, Castillo del Romeral, Puerto de la Aldea and Galdár. In some places the fiestas can last up for up to a week and usually culminate in taking a statue of the virgin out to sea at the head of a procession of decorated boats.

4 August Fiestas

Bajada de la Rama

This fiesta is called Bajada de la Rama which translates as the bringing down of the branches. This is one of the oldest fiestas on the island and almost certainly will go back to the time when the Guanches held rule here. This fiesta would certainly have it's roots in the oldest belief traditions, long before the Castillian conquest and Christianity.

This is nothing short of a rain dance, it is extremely colourful and is held in Agaete and Puerto de las Nieves. Traditionally villagers carry "pine" branches down from the mountains to the sea and once there they beat the waves with the branches in an effort to bring much needed rain to the island of Gran Canaria.

September Fiestas

Encuentro Internacional tres Continentes

(International meeting of three continents)

This is one of the annual fiestas of international importance, that takes place in Gran Canaria evet year. This festival sees an attractive collaboration of theatre performances whose origins are based in Latin American, Europe and Africa and are presented by groups from all three continents hence it's name.

6-8 September Fiesras

Fiesta de la Virgen del Pino

(Festival of Our Lady of the Pines)

The "Virgen del Pino" is the patron saint of Gran Canaria and as you can imagine there is huge celebration in her honour every year. This is Gran Canaria's biggest festival of it's kind and pilgrims from all over Gran Canaria converge on Teror and during a big evening procession offer fruit to the patron saint. It is no coincidence that the festival is held in Teror because legend has it that the Patron Saint appeared in a cave in Teror, the perfect place then for this popular religious festival that is blended with a more worldly idea of fun.

7-11 September Fiestas

Fiesta del Charco

(Lagoon Festival)

This is possibly the oldest of all the fiestas, and it's true origins are not known, but it is likely that it pre dates the Hispanic invasion, and ultimate conquest and is held in Puerto de la Aldea, a small town in the municipality of San Nicolas de Tolentino. It is possible that the ritual has something to do with the harvest from the sea but nobody truly knows. The festivities take place with villagers wading fully clothed in the lagoon as they try to catch fish with their bare hands while splashing each other. It is quite possible that all goes back to the Guanche belief system that was held before Christianity arrived when the belief system was polytheistic. In traditional Canarian style there are also wrestling matches "La Lucha Canaria" and stick fighting competitions taking place.

5 October Fiestas

Fiesta de la Virgen del Rosario

(Festival of our lady of the rosary)

This is one of the traditional fiestas and is full of Canarian events and traditions. This celebration has a rustic feel to it with wrestling matches "la Lucha Canaria", traditional stick fighting, plough pulling contests, a battle with flowers, balanced with traditional Canarian dancing and singing, plus a scattering of water and Gofio. This festival may have connections to harvest and may also have origins dating back further than the Spanish invasion to the time that the Guanches had rule over the islands.

October Fiestas
2nd Saturday

Fiesta de la Naval

(Festival of the sea)

This celebration is somewhat different from many other fiestas, in that it celebrates the Spanish conquest. It is celebrated in Las Palmas and other ports around the island and it commemorates the Victory of the Spanish Armada over the British explorer sir Francis Drake in 1595 by which time the Spanish had really stamped their mark on the Canary Islands.

13 December Fiestas

Dia de Santa Lucia

St. Lucy's day

This is somewhat different to all other festivals that you have the opportunity of being a part of.  Día de Santa Lucia is a Swedish-based winter festival but it has since been combined or influenced by Canarian fiestas and traditions. This fiesta is celebrated in Las Palmas with a week of street parties. Leading almost right up to Christmas. Dia de Santa Lucia is not subtle as churches and villages all over Gran Canaria are decorated and illuminated for this celebration.

24 December Fiestas

Christmas Eve

25 December Fiestas

Christmas Day

31 December Fiestas

New Year's Eve