All you need to know about the carnival in Gran Canaria
The carnival in Gran Canaria is an event which is celebrated between February and March in all municipalities of the island. For this occasion the habitants of the island dress up in elaborate costumes and participate in different activities for several days.
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Maspalomas are the two most important cities. The first one runs for over a month (end of January till end of February) and ends with the “burial of the sardine”, as the habitants call it. In Maspalomas the carnival takes place in March and the parade is the most important event.
But what is the origin of this happening?
History of the carnival in Gran Canaria
The first references of the carnival date back to the 16th century, when Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, as a port city, organised its own masquerades at sumptuous dinners. These masquerades and costumes dances were celebrated in honour of a wedding feast or a gala announcing a family wedding.
Its pagan origins were quietly maintained until the 19th century, when the first socio-cultural institutions began to organise events that reflected the character of the festivities of the past. This century also saw the introduction of processions, a feature that is important till today and nobody can imagine a carnival without it.
With the Frankish dictatorship, carnival was again outlawed and branded as a winter festival. Only organisations such as the Club Náutico and Club Victoria (both sports clubs with marinas) held it.
At the end of the 1970s, the 40-year ban on carnival came to an end and the reintroduction was authorised. This fact meant the development and extension of the festival to the other municipalities. The change would bring about the spread and the extent of the fame that these celebrations have today all over the island thanks to different institutions and organisations.
When is carnival on Gran Canaria?
We talk here about all the carnival celebrations that will take place on the whole island. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Maspalomas are the two most famous ones because of their dimension and the different events they offer.
Which are the most famous gala events?
Throughout the whole carnival there are 3 galas nobody wants to miss as they are very important and everybody wants them so they are even transmitted on different television broadcasts.
The Drag Queen Gala
The Drag Queen gala is a gala where the costume design and the incredibly high heels are mixed with the art and choreography of the artists who deliver an unforgettable show and which is known all over the world because of the difficulty of the performances. The winner will be determined by voting.
The Carnival Queen Gala
The performance of the most beautiful queen with the most beautiful dress. The designs and the scaffolding that the queens carry with them during the performance fill the galda with beauty and magic.
The burial of the sardine
The burial of the sardine is an expression of sadness that the carnival is coming to an end. The skeleton of a paper sardine is burnt and a funeral procession is celebrated. The habitants are sad that the festival of happiness and cheerfulness has come to an end.
How will the celebrations of the carnival in Gran Canaria be in 2021?
In view of the current pandemic, it is very difficult to predict whether the carnival in Gran Canaria will be celebrated in 2021. The cancellation in 2020 was a stab in the heart not only for all the people who are waiting for this celebration year after year but also for the businesses that live from tourism as this event attracts many people from all over the world.
Anyway, this article is just actual information about the carnival in Gran Canaria in 2021.