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StartNewsCarnival in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Carnival in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

02 Jan 2024

Discover the most important fiesta of the island.

The carnival in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is an event which is celebrated between January 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 various days.

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Maspalomas are the two most significant 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 to the carnival date back to the 16th century, when Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, as a port city, organized 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 organize events that reflected the character of the festivities of the past. This century also saw the introduction of processions, a feature that is indispensable 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 organizations 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 authorized. 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 organizations.

Dates: When is carnival in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria 2024?

The Las Palmas Carnival 2024 will be held from 26 January to 18 February 2024.

Which are the most famous gala events?

Throughout the entire 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.

1. 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.

2. 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 gala with beauty and magic.

3. The Great Carnival Parade

The Gran Cabalgata del Carnaval de Las Palmas means with colour, joy, costumes, floats, murgas, comparsas... And all to the rhythm of batucada and salsa. It’s a unique event because it transforms the streets of the capital into a big party.

4. 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.

5. Fiesta de los Indianos in Las Palmas

Following the step taken years ago on the island of La Palma, the Carnival of Las Palmas also celebrates the Fiesta de los Indianos, a celebration inspired by the Canary Islanders who emigrated to Cuba, which dyes the streets of the old town with talcum powder thrown by the thousands and thousands of people dressed in white who come every year.

Programme of the Carnival of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria 2024

Friday 19:

  • Presentation of Candidates (21:00)

Thursday 25:

  • Announcement parade (20:00) (From Parque Santa Catalina to Belén María)

  • Carnival Proclamation (21:30)

Friday 26:

  • Adults costumes (20:30)

  • Night of the Carnival (until 03:00h)

Saturday 27:

  • Children’s Throne (19:30)

  • Night of the Carnival (until 03:00h)

Sunday 28:

  • Childrens Murgas and comparsas (11:00)

  • Pre-Drag (20:30)

Monday 29:

  • 1nd Stage of Murgas (20:45)

Tuesday 30:

  • 2rd Stage of Murgas (20:45)

Wednesday 31:

  • 3rd Stage of Murgas (20:45)

Friday 2:

  • Comparsa competition (21:30)

  • Night of Carnival (until 03:00)

Saturday 3:

  • Ending of Murgas (21:00)

Sunday 4:

  • Dog carnival (12:00)

  • Gran Dama (21:00)

Monday 5:

  • Integration Gala (19:00)

Tuesday 6:

  • Body painting (21:30)

Friday 9:

  • Queen’s Gala (21:30)

  • Night of Carnival (until 04:00)

Saturday 10:

  • Carnival parade (12:00)

  • Day’s carnival (16:00 – 21:00)

  • Night of Carnival (21:00 – 04:00)

Sunday 11:

  • Carnival coreography (11:00)

  • Comparsa meeting and concert (Las Canteras, 17:00)

Monday 12:

  • Monday Carnival (19:00)

  • Allegory to 2025 (20:00)

  • Night of carnival (21:00-05:00)

Tuesday 13:

  • Childrens parade (12:00) from Santa Catalina to Manuel Becerra

  • Familys carnival (14:00-22:00)

Thursday 15:

  • “Los elegidos” canary TV (22:30)

Friday 16:

  • Gala Drag (21:30)

  • Carnivals Night (until 04:00)

Saturday 17:

  • Big Carnival Parade (17:00)

  • Night of carnival (until 05:00)

Sunday 18:

  • Day’s Carnival Viudas al sol (12:00)

  • Entierro de la Sardina (19:30)

  • Allegory 2025 (21:00) Las Canteras Beach

As you’ll have seen in this article, the Carnival of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is a unique event of vital importance for the islanders. Are you ready to enjoy a few days of guaranteed fun?