When planning a holiday in Gran Canaria, it is nice to know what is going on when you arrive. Gran Canaria features all kinds of fiestas, festivals, parades, public holidays and celebrations, as you an see in the following table. Some of the exact dates and plans for these are not announced until a few weeks beforehand and others are on the same day every year. Parties and fiestas always go ahead as planned, regardless of Gran Canaria’s weather and climate, which is usually favourable anyway.
Fiestas in Gran Canaria normally involve eating, drinking and plenty of noise. If there is something going on during your stay, you will want to bring your camera and take plenty of photos. Some of the festivals can be really noisy and go on until the early hours so if that’s an issue for you (or if you’re travelling with kids) you might want to do some research beforehand and book some accommodation away from where the main event will take place. Puerto de Mogan, for example, is usually a lot quieter than Playa del Ingles or Las Palmas during fiesta time.
Some of these fiestas are great fun – maybe you fancy going to the summer water fight or the cheese festival? Christmas in Gran Canaria is also nice and you can get away from it all and enjoy some Canarian cooking or even a traditional Christmas dinner in Gran Canaria.
The following list is being added to all the time, so it is worth bookmarking this page to make sure you are up to date with the local fiestas, parties and events.
TBA = To be announced
|Festival||Date in 2012||Public Holiday||Notes|
|New Year’s Day||1st January||Yes||A day of rest to sleep off the previous night’s excesses|
|Kings’ Day (Día de los Reyes)||6th January||Yes||When Canarians give and receive their Christmas presents|
|Las Palmas Carnival 2012||3rd February – 21st February||No||Probably 90% or so will be in Parque Catalina, Las Palmas|
|Carnaval Opening Speech||3rd February||No|
|Carnival Queen Gala||17th February||No|
|Carnival Drag Queen Gala||18th February||No|
|Great CarnivalParade||18th February||No||In Las Palmas|
|Burial of the Sardine||21st February||No||A very Canarian fiesta, where a “sardine” is symbolically buried (or blown up!) This is in Las palmas|
|Festival of Almond Blossom||11th to 13th February||No||In Valsequillo|
|Maspalomas Carnival||25th Feb – 4th March||No|
|St Joseph’s Day||19th March||Yes||Called San José in Spanish. Also this date is Father’s Day in the Canaries.|
|Holy Thursday||5th April||Yes|
|Good Friday||6th April||Yes|
|Aborigines’ Day||29th April||No||Music, dancing and ceremonies commemorating the Guanches’ defeat of the Spanish|
|Cheese Festival||30th April– 7th May||No||In Santa Maria de Guia|
|Labour Day||1st May||Yes|
|Canarias Day||30th May||Yes||Everything is closed on this date (except tourist shops/bars/restaurants) and there are parties everywhere!|
|Gay Pride||7th – 13th May||No||In Maspalomas.|
|Fiesta del Carmen||15th July||No||Fiesta for sailors and mariners|
|Bringing Down the Branches||4th August||No||In Agaete and Puerto de las Nievas|
|Asunción de la Virgin||15th August||Yes||Feast of the Assumption, Dia de la Candelaria, procession in Ingenio|
|Water Fight in Lomo Magullo||5th August||No||Takes place in Telde.|
|Fiesta del Charco||11th September||No||Festival of the Lagoon, in Puerto de la Aldea|
|Nuestra Señora del Pino||8th September||Yes||Lady of the Pine (this festival is on a different day in each Canary island) – in Teror|
|Fiesta de la Naval||13th October||No||Festival of the sea. Usually the 2nd Saturday in October. Held in Las Palmas.|
|National Day||12th October||Yes||A bank holiday all over Spain|
|Fiesta of Our Lady of the Rosary||5th October||No||In Aguimes|
|All Saints’ Day||1st November||Yes|
|Day of the Spanish Constitution||6th December||Yes||A bank holiday all over Spain|
|Immaculate Conception||8th December||Yes||A Catholic holiday|
|Saint Lucia Day||13th December||Yes||A Catholic holiday|
|Christmas Day||25th December||Yes||A day of rest to sleep off the excesses of December 24th (when the Canarians eat their Christmas dinner)|
There are two types of fiestas in the Canaries – gazetted holidays (the official public holidays decided by the Government of Spain) and local festivals which depend on the Catholic calendar.