Events 2007

There is always lots going on in Gran Canaria, whether it is a Saint’s Day accompanied by a procession, a local fiesta with music and dancing or a sporting or musical event. No matter which month you choose for your holiday, there will be plenty of things to do.

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Here are some of the main ones:

January 6th – Dia de los Reyes (Three Holy Kings Day)
This is when the Canarian children get their Christmas presents (but because there are so many British kids on the island now, their parents give some on 25th December too, so they don’t feel too left out!)

January/February – Soccer Tournaments
Soccer teams from all over Europe come to Gran Canaria to take part in tournaments in the sun (can you blame them?)

Early February – Fiesta del Almendro en Flor (Festival of Almond Blossom)
This festival gives you the chance to sample locally made almond produce such as wines and sweets, and there is music and dancing.

February/MarchCarnival around the island
Many people come during this time to see the carnival. Expect to see crazy costumes, a variety of shows and other events like singing competitions and comedy shows (it helps if you understand Spanish!)

Early March – Entierro de la Sardina (Burial of the Sardine)
This fiesta involves a procession and then burying a paper maché sardine. There is also a great firework display. I went to this procession last year and they didn’t bury the sardine at all – they blew it to smithereens on the beach!! More entertaining anyway

March/April – Semana Santa (Holy Week)
You will see pre-Easter processions where statues and religious icons are carried through the streets. It is nearly impossible to find Easter Eggs on Gran Canaria though so if you’re coming with kids for Easter – bring your own!

April – Rally El Corte Inglés
This is a big car rally with lots of competitors from all over Europe

April 29th – Fiesta de los Aborigines (Fiesta of the Aborigines)
There are ceremonies, music and dancing events and the fiesta marks the event of the Guanches defeating the Spanish (nothing to do with Australians!)

April 30th – May 7th – Fiesta del Queso del Flor (Festival of the ‘Flower Cheese’)
Traditional music, dancing and LOADS of cheese eating!! This is in Santa Maria de Guía, in the north of the island

May 1st – Feria del Caballo (Horse Market)
Held in Valsequillo, this is a horse market and agricultural event

May 5th – May 11th – Gay Pride (Events & Parade)
The largest gay centre in Europe hosts this event. Expect outrageous costumes and music shows including such stars as Sam Fox, Marc Almond and Hazel Dean

May 30th – Día de las Islas Canarias (Canary Islands’ Day)
You will see stick-fighting, wresting and folk dancing (oh – and everything will be shut!)

Late May/early June – Corpus Christi (Body of Christ Day)
The streets are decorated with flowers and ‘carpets’ made from petals, grasses and coloured sands can be seen on street corners. There is a parade and traditional activities (usually violent ones like wrestling and stick-fighting!!)

July 16th – Fiesta del Carmen
Decorated boats travel up and down the coast, carrying statues of the Virgin Mary. Lots of beer drinking and eating takes place on the boats and there is a great atmosphere in the harbours

August 4th – Bajada de la Rama (Bringing down the Branches)
Villagers carry pine branches down from the mountains and thrash the sea with them, in remembrance of ancient Guanche rain dances

September – Encuentro Internacional Tres Continentes (International Theatre Festival of Three Continents)
This is an international festival, held in Aguimes, featuring shows by African, European and Latin American groups

September 6th – 8th – Pilgrimage to Nuestra Señora de la Virgen del Pino in Teror
Pilgrims meet in Teror and offer fresh produces to the Virgin of the Pine (the patron saint of Gran Canaria)

September 7th – 11th – Fiesta del Charco (Festival of the Lagoon)
Villagers wade into the lagoon, trying to catch fish with their bare hands and splashing each other. There are also traditional activities (yep – stick-fighting and wrestling!)

October 5th – Fiesta de la Virgen del Rosario (Festival of Our Lady of the Rosary)
Not only stick-fighting and wrestling but plough-pulling and battles with flowers! The Canarians know how to celebrate with a difference!

October (2nd Saturday) – Fiesta de la Naval (Festival of the Sea)
Maritime processions to commemorate the Spanish Armada’s victory over Sir Francis Drake

Early NovemberFiestas Patronales in honor of San Gregorio Taumaturgo
Traditional Canarian events and celebrations in each town

December 13th – Dia de Santa Lucia (Saint Lucia Day)
This is a Swedish festival which combines Canarian traditions with Scandinavian ones. There are street parties and all the churches are illuminated.

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December 25th – Navidad (Christmas)
You can see a Nativity Play in Veneguera (village near Mogán) on Christmas evening. The Canarians have their Christmas dinner on the night of 24th December but 25th is a bank holiday (so they can recover from their hangovers!)

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