Virgen de la Candelaria, or Dia de la Candelaria, is usually celebrated worldwide on February 2nd but this differs from country to country. Also known as Candlemas, Dia de la Candelaria is a Catholic holiday. It is based on the presentation of Jesus in the temple. The Virgen de la Candelaria is the Patron Saint of the Canary Islands.
August 15th is when the main celebrations occur in the Canary Islands, despite the Catholic church celebrating on February 2nd. On August 14th, buses and trucks decorated with palm leaves and flowers arrive at the Plaza de la Candelaria, in the town of Ingenio. People spend the night dancing and singing and some sleep in the open air.
The following day there is a procession and someone carries a statue of la Virgen at the front. There are also shepherds dressed in sheepskins and goatskins and their flocks. This isn’t the most comfortable attire in mid-August when it’s likely to be around 40 degrees C but it’s all about the symbolism 🙂
The churches might hold special services on February 2nd but if you want to see the Feast of the Assumption – Asunción de la Virgin celebrations in mid-August, you can make your way to Ingenio and watch the parade.
The celebrations are bigger in Tenerife and they even have a town called Candelaria there, in honour of la virgen, but you will be able to enjoy the festivities in Gran Canaria as well. Get bus no.11 or bus no.21 from Las Palmas’ San Telmo bus station.