Canary Islands Holidays

Some holidays of those celebrated in the Canary Islands are international and national, others are regional holidays and others are of insular character. The official day of the autonomous community is Canary Islands Day on 30 May. The anniversary of the first session of the Parliament of the Canary Islands, based in the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, held on 30 May 1983, is commemorated with this day.

The common festive calendar throughout the Canary Islands is as follows:

Date                         Name                                                   Data

1 January                 New Year                                             International festival.

6 January                 Epiphany                                              Catholic festival.

March or April       Holy Thursday and Holy Friday      Christian festival.

1 May                     International Workers’ Day             International festival.

30 May                   Canary Islands Day                            Day of the autonomous community. Anniversary of the first session of the Parliament of the Canary Islands.

15 August                Assumption of Mary                        Catholic festival. This day is festive in the archipelago as in all of Spain. Popularly, in the Canary Islands it is known as the day on which the Virgin of Candelaria (Saint Patron of the Canary Islands) is celebrated.

12 October            Fiesta Nacional de España                  National Holiday of Spain. Commemoration of discovery of the Americas.

1 November        All Saints’ Day                                        Catholic festival.

6 December         Constitution Day                                   Commemoration of the Spanish constitutional referendum, 1978.

8 December         Immaculate Conception                       Catholic festival. The Immaculate Conception is the Saint Patron of Spain.

25 December        Christmas                                               Christian festival. Commemoration of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.

In addition, each of the islands has an island festival, in which it is a holiday only on that specific island. These are the festivities of island patrons’ saints of each island. Organized chronologically are:

Date                                                              Island                    Saint/Virgin

2 February                                                   Tenerife               Our Lady of Candelaria

5 August                                                        La Palma               Our Lady of the Snows

8 September                                             Gran Canaria          Our Lady of the Pine

15 September                                           Lanzarote               Our Lady of Dolours

3rd Saturday of September                    Fuerteventura      Our Lady of the Peña

24 September                                           El Hierro                Our Lady of the Kings

Mon. following the 1st Sat. of Oct.        La Gomera            Our Lady of Guadalupe

The most famous festivals of the Canary Islands is the carnival. It is the most famous and international festival of the archipelago. The carnival is celebrated in all the islands and all its municipalities, perhaps the two busiest are those of the two Canarian capitals; the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Tourist Festival of International Interest) and the Carnival of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. It is celebrated on the streets between the months of February and March. But the rest of the islands of the archipelago have their carnivals with their own traditions among which stand out: The Festival of the Carneros of El Hierro, the Festival of the Diabletes of Teguise in Lanzarote, Los Indianos de La Palma, the Carnival of San Sebastián de La Gomera and the Carnival of Puerto del Rosario in Fuerteventura.

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