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In the Canary Islands the Carnival is the greatest celebration of the year. This is why that as Christmas holidays, New Year Eve' and the 3 Wise Men celebrations come to an end the preparations for the Carnival begin.
In Gran Canaria, the carnival is celebrated for several weeks all across the island. Traditionally, and due to its history, the most popular has been the Carnival of Las Palmas. But in recent years, encouraged by the presence of tourists from many different nationalities, the International Carnival of Maspalomas is also increasing its fame.
In the capital of the island of Gran Canaria, the carnival is one of the oldest festivals and it has been celebrated almost since the city was founded, in 1478, although its first written reference dates back to 1574. Over the following centuries, and thanks to the influence of different cultures, the Carnival of Las Palmas was acquiring new customs and traditions that have resulted in the current carnival: masked balls, popular parades full of colour, galas, street carnival, etc.
In the twentieth century and during the 40 years of dictatorship in Spain, the Carnival was banned, but in the capital of Gran Canaria was kept alive in the shadow. It was held secretly in private homes with parties and galas under the name "Winter Festival." This meant that, after 1976, the carnival spirit was still fully alive and it returned to the streets more eager than ever before with the first costume parade through the streets of the capital after 4 decades.
Nowadays, the Carnival of Las Palmas is the festival with the greatest social and economic impact on Gran Canaria and with unrivalled attraction.
This year, the Carnival of Las Palmas will be held from January 29th to February 21st and its central theme will be "The Roaring Twenties". As every year, the most popular days will be the big competition finals of Murgas, Comparsas, the election of the Carnival Queen and the Drag-Queen Gala. If you are visiting Gran Canaria at this time of year, we encourage you to join us every day in the big stage of the Carnival located in the Plaza de Santa Catalina and let yourself be soaked up by the wonderful festive atmosphere.
Another key date of the Carnival of Las Palmas 2016 will be the Grand Parade. It will be held on Saturday, February 20th from 17:00 hrs. and will run through many areas of the capital. This is one of the days of greater Carnival citizen participation, DO NOT MISS IT!
If you want to see Las Palmas' Carnival 2016 full program, you can do so here.
The International Carnival of Maspalomas takes place this year from February 19th to 28th in the south of Gran Canaria, under the theme of Hollywood, in its "Maspawood" edition. Without as much tradition as the one in the capital, the Carnival of Maspalomas keeps growing in popularity and participation every year. People from all over Gran Canaria join the celebration in the uniqueness of Maspalomas' environment: good weather, good atmosphere and the opportunity to be celebrating great moments with people from many different nationalities.
If you happen to be in Gran Canaria on Saturday, February 28th, we suggest you not to miss the massive and hilarious Maspalomas' International Carnival Parade, but if you visit us any other days, we leave the complete carnival's program for you to tick the key dates in your agenda.
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