Fiesta de la Naval (Festival of the Sea)

The Fiesta de la Naval 2007 takes place on 6 October 2007 and mainly consists of maritime processions to commemorate the Spanish victory over a British invasion in the sixteenth century. There are processions from all the main harbours but the biggest one goes from La Isleta in Las Palmas. There are also fireworks, impressive flower decorations and reenactments.

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Naval
Photo By FJDP III

The festival is normally on the second Saturday in October (sometimes the first one!) because the original battle against Francis Drake was won on 6 October 1595, so they try to keep near the date (and Saturday is good because everyone can nurse their hangovers on the Sunday!)

Even though the British lost (oops!) this is a fun fiesta to watch and the Canarians don’t bear a grudge! There are lots of sea-based festivals in Gran Canaria (probably because we’re surrounded by it!) like Bajada de la Rama (when branches are thrashed into the sea) and Fiesta del Charco (when villagers wade into the sea to try and catch fish with their bare hands).

Like with a lot of other Canarian festivals, there are folk groups singing and plenty of dancing and merrymaking! Food and drinks are never in short supply either. There are shows in the evening and a “Fiesta de la Naval Queen” is chosen.

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Fiesta de la Naval 2008 (if you miss this coming one!) is planned for 11 October 2008.

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