CANCO-Blog: Carnival in Gran Canaria - Info and Tips
Karneval auf Gran Canaria

Carnival in Gran Canaria 2018

The carnival season on Gran Canaria starts every year around February in the capital Las Palmas and it lasts for several weeks. In the period until March, the carnival in Gran Canaria makes its way from north to south through the various communities of the island. The highlights of the carnival are the parades in Las Palmas and Maspalomas.

The Carnival of Gran Canaria is one of the most important in the world. Hundreds of thousands of people gather every year from all over the world to celebrate it. It is similar to the Brazilian carnival. This is probably due to the influence of the many Latin Americans who live on the island. The mild temperatures that prevail at this time of year are also a decisive factor. The carnival is lively, colorful and accompanied by hot samba and salsa rhythms.

Below you will find all the important information and the dates of all carnival events in Gran Canaria in 2018.

Carnival in Gran Canaria - Info and Tips
Photo credit: A Pillow of Winds on VisualHunt / CC BY-ND


Customs and Practices of the Carnival
in Gran Canaria

Basic elements of the celebrations are the various galas in which the most important representatives – Queen and Drag Queen – are chosen. This also includes the competition of the traditional music bands “Murgas”, who make fun of the government and the society with their satirical songs. And then of course there’s the parade “La Cabalgada” and the street carnival the “Mogollones”. The culminating end of the carnival is the funeral of the sardine on the beach “El Entierro de la Sardina”.

La Reina del Carnaval

The star of the carnival in Gran Canaria is the queen “La Reina del Carnaval”. She is chosen at a gala from various female candidates. Many young ladies present their impressive gowns at the gala. The sumptuous garments are worth thousands of Euros and consist of a great number of colorful feathers, innumerable glittering sequins and sparkling stones. They have a diameter of up to 3 meters and can weigh 60kg. It takes a lot to wear these heavy-weight dresses with the meter-high headdress with grace and a beaming smile. The most elegant participant with the most spectacular robe is elected Queen.

Carnival in Gran Canaria - Info and Tips
Photo credit: jonnyfromtheblock on Visualhunt / CC BY-ND

Drag Queens

Also, the drag queens are an absolute must and cannot be missed anymore at the Canarian carnival. The performances of the travesty artists are not less impressive. With shrill costumes and on shoes with dizzyingly high platforms they present some breathtaking dance performances. And again, the best performance will be awarded.

Carnival in Gran Canaria - Info and Tips
Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/en/photos/drag queen/

The Murgas

The black humor in the texts in the mocking songs of the “Murgas” unfortunately is not understandable for the tourists because of the language barrier and the lack of political and social knowledge. But the colorful costumes and the makeup of the vocal groups are definitely an optical experience.

The Mogollones

Everyone benefits from the street parties the “Mogollones“ though, those are in the evening following the various events. The party people gather in the streets and in the bars, singing and dancing until dawn.

Carnival in Gran Canaria - Info and Tips
Photo credit: Stig Nygaard on Visual Hunt / CC BY


The Carnival Parades of Gran Canaria

On the day of the parade, the colorful dance groups with their musicians and the big colorful wagons finally take over the entire streets. However, the fun does not end when the parade finishes, it is basically just initiated by it. The party will go on until the early hours of the morning. While the subsequent celebrations in Las Palmas take place in the Santa Catalina Park, the party-animals of Maspalomas move into the Yumbo Center.

But also the other less touristy communities such as Agüimes, Telde or Mogan know to celebrate. Their parades are not that big, but in terms of celebration they are in no way inferior to the two carnival capitals. Since there are no unitary appointments, but the parades take place one after the other, you can go and party everywhere!

Carnival in Gran Canaria - Info and Tips
Photo credit: gabriella szekely on Visualhunt.com / CC BY


And This is How the Carnival Ends…

The burial of the sardine puts an end to the carnival activities. A huge cardboard sardine is carried by a funeral procession through the village to the beach. The fish is followed by its many mourning widows, mostly men in women’s costumes, priests and pastors. At the beach, the sardine is finally burned and a big firework opens the final celebrations.

Carnival in Gran Canaria - Info and Tips
Children’s Carnival in Puerto de Mogán


The Dates of the Carnival Gran Canaria 2018

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Dates: 26.01.18 – 19.02.18
Theme: Magic and Fantastic Creatures

  • 26.01.18, 21:00h: Opening ceremony – Plaza de Santa Ana
  • 27.01.18, 19:00h: Children’s group contest – Parque Santa Catalina
  • 28.01.18, 11:00h: Children’s costume festival
  • 28.01.18, 20:00h: Gala Gran Dame
  • 01.02.18, 21:00h: Adult’s costume contest
  • 03.02.18, 12:00h: Day time Carnival – Vegueta
  • 04.02.18, 12:00h: Dog Carnival
  • 04.02.18, 19:00h: Gala Kids Queen
  • 09.02.18, 21:00h: Gala Carnival Queen
  • 10.02.18, 17:00h: Sun Carnival
  • 11.02.18: Day time Carnival – Santa Catalina
  • 12.02.18, 19:00h: Traditional Carnival
  • 12.02.18, 21:00h: Gala Drag Queen
  • 13.02.18, 12:00h: Mardis Gras!
  • 13.02.18, 17:00h: Childrens’ parade
  • 15.02.18, 19:00h: Gala Integration
  • 16.02.18, 21:00h: Body painting contest
  • 17.02.18, 17:00h: Carnival Parade
  • 19.02.18, 19:00h: Burial of the Sardine


Agüimes
Dates: 03.02.18 – 18.02.18
Theme: Carnival in the time machine

  • 03.02.18: Carnival Parade
  • 10.02.18, 11:30h: Daytime Carnival – Playa de Arinaga
  • 11.02.18, 11:30h: Children’s dance – Plaza del Rosario
  • 14.02.18, 21:00h: Burial of the Sardine
  • 17.02.18: The V Street Carnival
  • 18.02.18, 11:30h: The 2nd Children’s dance – Plaza del Rosario


Ingenio
Dates: 08.02.12 – 18.02.18
Theme: The golden carnival

  • 10.02.18, 12:00h: Day time Carnival – Plaza de la Candelaria
  • 11.02.18, 11:00h: Pet Carnival – Plaza de la Candelaria
  • 11.02. & 12.02.18, 20:30h: Murgas Competition – Plaza de la Candelaria
  • 13.02.18, 21:00h: Wake of the Sarine & costume contest – Plaza de la Candelaria
  • 14.02.18, 21:00h: Burial of the Sardine
  • 16.02.18, 21:00h: Gala Drag Queen- Plaza de la Candelaria
  • 18.02.18, 11:00h: Children’s Carnival – Plaza de la Candelaria


Arucas
Dates: 12.02.18 – 04.03.18
Theme: Myths and legends

  • 24.02.18, 16:30h: Spanish Music Concerts & Disco – Calle Leon y Castillo
  • 25.02.18, 20:00h: Gala Drag Queen – Plaza de San Juan
  • 02.03.18, 21:00h: Folkloristic Carnival
  • 03.03.18, 19.00h: Carnival Parade
  • 04.03.18: Burial of the Sardine


La Aldea de San Nicolás
Dates: 13.02.18 – 03.03.18
Theme: Africa

  • 13.02.18: Traditional Carnival
  • 24.02.18: Carnival Parade
  • 03.03.18: Burial of the Sardine


Agaete
Dates: 17.02.18 – 03.03.18
Theme: Hollywood, golden years

  • 23.02.18, 21:30h: Gala Costumes & Party
  • 24.02.18, 13:30h: Street Carnival
  • 25.02.18, 12:00h: Children’s Carnival
  • 02.03.18, 10:00h: Street Carnival
  • 02.03.18, 21:00h: Carnival Party
  • 03.03.18, 18:30h: Carnival Parade and Burial of the Sardine with big party


Mogán
Dates: 20.02.18 – 25.02.18
Theme: Comics and superheroes

  • 20.02.18, 20:00h: Body Painting Competition – Arguineguin
  • 21.02.18, 20:00h: Gala Carnival
  • 22.02.18, 21:00h: Gala Drag Queen
  • 23.02.18, 20:00h: Wig Party
  • 24.02.18, 19:00h: Carnival Parade – El Timonel
  • 25.02,18, 17:30h: Children’s Costume Festival
  • 25.02.18, 20:30h: Burial of the Sardine


Carrizal
Dates: 22.02.18– 04.03.18
Theme: Coddle the mime

  • 22.02.18: Rescue of the Sardine
  • 23.02.18, 21:30h: Carnival Party
  • 24.02.18, 12.30h: Street Carnival
  • 25.02.18: Pets Carnival
  • 28.02.18: Gala Drag Queen
  • 01.03. & 02.03.18: Murgas Competion
  • 03.03.18, 18:00h: Carnival Parade and Burriel of the Sardine
  • 04.03.18: Children’s Carnival


Telde
Dates: 23.02.18 – 03.03.18
Theme: The Jungle

  • 23.02.18, 21:00h: Carnival Party
  • 24.02.18, 11:00h: Children’s Carnival
  • 24.02.18, 21:00h: Street Carnival Mogollon
  • 25.02.18, 11:00h: Heels Race and Carnival Party
  • 02.03.18, 21:00h: Gala Drag Queen
  • 03.03.18, 17:30h: Carnival Parade


Maspalomas
Dates: 02.03.17 – 11.03.18
Theme: FestuM+ (Middle Age)

  • 02.03.18, 21:00h: Opening ceremony and Carnival Party Mogollón
  • 03.03.18, 21:00h: Gala Carnival Queen
  • 04.03.18, 19:00h: Gala Children Carnival Queen
  • 07.03.18, 21:00h: Gala Gran Dame
  • 08.03.18, 21:00h: Gala Drag Queen and Street Carnival Mogollón
  • 10.03.18, 17:00h: Carnival Parade
  • 11.03.18, 14:00h: Beach Carnival
  • 11.03.18, 20:00h: Burial of the Sardine


Vecindario
Dates: 08.03.18 – 18.03.18
Theme: Television, do not change channels, we are Carnival!

  • 16.03.18: Gala Drag Queen
  • 17.03.18: Carnival Parade
  • 18.03.18: Burial of the Sardine

Photo credit: nateClicks on Visual Hunt / CC BY

2 thoughts on “Carnival in Gran Canaria 2018
  • 5/5

    Thanks for the schedule! I really like the article you've shared above! I don;t like the way how the Carnival ends.

  • 4/5

    The celebrations of this kind attract with their unusual atmosphere and bright outfits. The festivals are popular due to their scale.

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