2012 Gran Canaria Festival Calendar

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
Epiphany 5th January Yes
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)

Photo by Mataparda

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.


See also Festivals 2011 and Festivals 2013.



  1. Remo

    Can you please tell me when the Maspalomas Carnival will take place next year?


  2. Victoria

    It will be sometime between late February and mid-March although the exact dates haven’t been released yet. Watch this space 🙂

  3. Annelie

    When will the Maspalomas Carnival in 2012 take place?

  4. Victoria (Post author)

    I don’t know, Annelie. As soon as the government decides (and posts it on http://www.maspalomas.com) I will update the above table.

  5. J.O.

    Hello, the Maspalomas Carnival dates were confirmed two weeks ago, it will take place between 25 of february and 4 of march. There’s no further information about specific events at this moment,

    The Great Parade of Las Palmas Carnival is confirmed for 18th of February (saturday)

  6. Victoria

    Thanks JO!

  7. Geurts

    Could you tell me when the carnival is in Playa del Ingles, Gran Canaria?

    Thank you.
    G. Geurts

  8. Victoria


    Yes it’s on from 25th February until 4th March 2012 inclusive. Where it says Maspalomas Carnival above, that’s the same as the Playa del Ingles one.


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