🇪🇸 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Carnival

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Carnival is one of the most vibrant parties in Europe. Everyone is welcome to join!

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    When is Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Carnival 2022?

    Las Palmas Carnival will start on February 20, 2022 until March 1, 2022.


    What is Carnival in Las Palmas?

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    The Las Palmas Carnival is known as one of the best free parties in Europe! For three weeks every year, they celebrate one of the biggest, best and hottest carnivals in the world! This is a carnival that easily rivals Rio Carnival. During Carnival, every corner of this island transforms into a non-stop party, filled with music, colour, humour, dancing, feasting and fun!

    What really makes this Canarialn Carnival special is the amazing temperatures of these gorgeous islands. While mainland Spain and the rest of Europe suffer through the freezing cold winter, this Island is sunny and warm all year round. And while you’ll enjoy the weather, you’ll adore the carnival!

    Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Carnival is filled with some of the best entertainment that you could ever possibly see, and humour takes centre-stage at this carnival! You have parades, parties, dance troupes, drag contests, floats, and fireworks. You can enjoy the incredible processions and the originality of the flashy costumes.

    Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is a city that is accustomed to being incredibly welcoming to outsiders. So welcoming that it makes friendly merriment contagious! So much so that visitors soon get caught up in the carnival celebrations! Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Carnival is a vibrant, lively and open party, that everyone is welcome to join!

    Carnival is one of Spain’s favourite celebrations and the unique traditions seen at Las Palmas de Gran Canarias Carnival are so incredibly captivating that we at Carnivaland, guarantee that you will have an unforgettable time!

    Where is Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Carnival held?

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    The Canary Islands are a Spanish archipelago located in the Atlantic Ocean about 1300 kilometres from the mainland of Spain and about 210 kilometres off the north western coast of Africa. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Carnival takes place in the Gran Canarian Capita, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

    Most carnival events and celebrations take place in Santa Catalina Park (Parque de Santa Catalina) which is located between Las Canteras Beach and the Cruise Ship Pier. It is a spectacular outdoor setting. A huge stage gets built there in Santa Catalina Park and that is where the murgas, comparsas, concerts, Queen and Drag Queen Competitions, children’s groups, body paint events and the dog carnival is held.

    A Carnival for Everyone!

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    Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is an open and tolerant city where all are welcome! This can be reflected in its carnival celebrations whose identifying features are all about embracing and defending diversity, to ensure freedom and respect for all!

    The Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Carnival goes to every effort to ensure that everyone, no matter their background or age, without exclusion, feels part of the fiesta. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is home to one of the largest LGTB-friendly communities in Europe, so carnival celebrations are very gay friendly with loads of LGBT activities and events.

    What is the history of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Carnival?

    palmas carnival

    What are the origins of Las Palmas Carnival? Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Carnival is a pre-Lenten carnival that marks a period of celebration before the onset of Lent. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Carnival is not only one of the oldest carnivals in the world, but also one of the most deeply rooted.

    Carnival started back in the 15th century, shortly after the Spaniards colonised the area. And soon people from all over the world began moving to the islands. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria was one of the first cities on the island, back in 1478, to participate in carnival. And this carnival became known for its ability to bring together settlers from all backgrounds and cultures!

    During the mid-16th century, following the Spanish Conquest, many islanders were forced to leave their homes and seek fortune in the Americas. However, after the conquest, many returned home and brought their newly found carnival influences with them. A unique sense of colour and flamboyancy was introduced to the proceedings.

    Due to the presence of Italians on the island, many private parties and masquerade balls were held. The Italians were very fond of the element of disguise. Carnival continued to grow larger and larger over the centuries and became an officially organised event in the 19th century.

    However, in the 20th century, state repression of the Francoist dictatorship resulted in carnival being banned. But for the Canarians, carnival is a tradition that is fundamental to them and the locals across the island strived to keep the traditions alive, celebrating in secrecy under the disguised name of ‘Winter Fiestas’.

    All the celebrations took place in hiding in social clubs. Costumes were worn under bed sheets until they arrived at the venue. Disguise has always been synonymous with the carnival. In fact, carnival in the Canary Islands was the only place in Spain that managed to continue during the dictatorship. Carnival was born again following the death of the Spanish dictator after 40 years, in 1976!

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    Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Carnival 2022 Programme

    While the 2021 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Carnival has been cancelled. Here are the events that you would normally take place during carnival. 

    Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Carnival packs a full schedule with almost a whole month of celebrations! Visitors will quickly get caught up in the party spirit that invades Las Palmas de Gran Canaria during carnival. Throughout the city, the streets are filled with colour, music and joy. Here are the 2020 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Carnival dates and events.

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    Day 1

    • 08:30pm Parade to announce the start of Carnival: Half an hour before the official start of carnival, a street parade will march from Triana to Vegueta. This is a delightful display of colour, joy, and magic marking the end of winter and the arrival of Spring.
    • 09:00pm Pregon, Opening Ceremony: Held in Plaza de Santa Ana, the Pregon (Proclamation). is the official opening ceremony of the carnival. It is a great spectacle where carnival is officially declared open. The Murgas, Comparsas and Carnival Queen Candidates also have a role in the ceremony.

    Day 2

    • 7:00pm Children’s Contest: Children put on an awesome display of rhythm and choreography, as they present acts, they have worked on for the entire year. The competition takes place in Parque Santa Catalina and admission is free until capacity is reached.

    Day 3

    • 11:00am Children’s Costume Festival: The stage of Parque Santa Catalina is filled with colour and fun for the children’s costume contest and family friendly event. Admission is free until capacity is reached.
    • 08:00pm Great Lady’s Gala: The Grand Dame or Great Lady is when the senior citizens get their change to be crowned carnival royalty. Takes place at Parque Santa Catalina and there is free admission until capacity is reached.

    Day 4

    • 08:30pm Murgas Contest Round 1: Satirical Choir Musical Groups who have thousands of followers called Murgas, compete to win the prize for Best Murgas. Their songs are ironic and take on the most high-profile social and political topics of the year. Held on the Parque Santa Catalina Stage.

    Day 5

    • 08:30pm Murgas Contest Round 2: Takes place at Parque Santa Catalina.

    Day 6

    • 08:30pm Murgas Contest Round 3: Takes place at Parque Santa Catalina.

    Day 7

    • 08:30pm Adult Costume Contest: Here the adults have a chance to show off their fantasies on the carnival stage. You can compete as an individual or group. Everyone has the chance to take part and show off on stage. It is one of the funniest events of carnival. Held at Parque Santa Catalina and admission are free until capacity has been reached.

    Day 8

    • 08:30pm Adult Troupe Contest: This is a night of the troupes. Expect lots of feathers and sequins! These groups reflect the essence of carnival through their fabulous costumes, choreographies and relationship with music, dance and rhythm. Held at Parque Santa Catalina. Admission is free until capacity has been reached.

    Day 9

    • 12:00pm Vegueta Carnival: This Daytime Carnival will fill the streets and squares of the city centre with crowds of costumed revellers, who come out to dance, drink, feast, socialise and party the day away.
    • 09:00pm: End of Murgas Contest: The night of the Murgas final is, no question, one of the most exciting events of carnival. The Murgas that reach the final round will compete for prizes. Their numerous fans come out in droves to support and cheer on their group. You can feel the emotion and passion throughout the crowd. Held at Parque Santa Catalina, tickets cost 5 euros.

    Day 10

    • 12:00pm Dog Carnival: One of the most popular events is the canine carnival, a parade of dogs and their owners in costumes. Takes place at Parque Santa Catalina and admission is free until capacity has been reached.
    • 07:00pm Children’s Gala: This gala is held for the little ones to enjoy. It is a family friendly day where the carnival groups and Murgas perform more children friendly songs. The election of the Junior Queen or King is one of the cutest carnival activities. Takes place at Parque Santa Catalina and admission is free until capacity has been reached.

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    Day 11

    • 9:00pm Election of the Carnival Queen (Gala de la Reina): The Gala of the Carnival Queen is one of the most eagerly awaited events of carnival. Female candidates battle it out in elaborate, enormous costumes that can weigh 100kg in the hope of being crowned the carnival queen. It takes place in Parque Santa Catalina and is a ticketed event.
    • 11:00pm Carnival Night: Carnival Nights mean fun, out on the streets, in amongst the crowds and everyone in costume. There will be live music held with people staying out and enjoying themselves till the early morning. From 11:00pm to 3:00am there are free concerts and live music next around.

    Day 12

    • 12:00pm Daytime Carnival in Triana: The Carnival of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria adds a new day carnival in the city centre. The Main Street of Triana will be filled with costumed revellers who will come out to enjoy a family friendly party held on Triana’s Calle Mayor.
    • 05:00pm Carnival in the Sun: The Las Canteras Promenade comes alive with colour, rhythm, music and creativity when the murgas and comparsas will perform on the streets.
    • 09:00pm Pre-selection Drag Queen: Because of the large number of contestants competing for the title of Drag Queen, a pre-selection contest is held to choose the best to progress to the finals. Held at Santa Catalina Park. It is one of the most entertaining and craziest events of carnival.
    • 11:00pm Carnival Night: Carnival Nights mean fun, out on the streets, in amongst the crowds and everyone in costume. There will be live music held with people staying out and enjoying themselves till the early morning. From 11:00pm to 3:00am there are free concerts and live music next around. 

    Day 13

    • 11:00am Meeting of Children’s Murgas: Children’s Murgas get a chance to perform on stage in the Santa Catalina Park.
    • 05:00pm Children’s Parade: This parade is for the little ones! It has the kids dress up and dance in the parade, and also has the children’s murgas and comparsas. It is one of the most popular carnival events for families. The Children’s Parade is presided over by the Junior Carnival Queen and is followed by a children’s party.

    Day 14

    • 07:00pm Traditional Carnival: Traditional Carnival is a messy affair. Everyone dresses in white and throws talcum powder at each other in honour of the “Indianos” emigrants who made their fortunes in the Americas during colonial times and then returned home to the islands. Held in the old town it marks the eve of Shrove Tuesday.
    • 09:00pm Drag Queen Gala: The Drag Queen Gala is one of the international icons of the Carnival of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and was even recognised with the Pen Prize awarded by the State Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Trans and Bisexuals (FELGTB) in 2018. The Drag show represents carnival in its purest essence. Gender transgression, artist creativity, lack of inhibition, freedom and diversity, which are combined to put on one of the most fun and entertaining events of carnival. It is held on the stage in Parque de Santa Catalina and is a ticketed event.
    • 11:00pm Carnival Night: Carnival Nights mean fun, out on the streets, in amongst the crowds and everyone in costume. There will be live music held with people staying out and enjoying themselves till the early morning. From 11:00pm to 3:00am there are free concerts and live music next around.

    Day 15

    • 12:00pm Daytime Carnival in Santa Catalina: Today is a huge day party with lots of live music in the surroundings of Santa Catalina Park. It’s one of the biggest days of the year and a very exciting celebration filled with lots of colour, rhythm and live music. It’s a great day out of the whole family.

    Day 16

    • 07:00pm Social Integration Gala: The integration gala is all about inclusion for all members of society. It is organised by COMPSI (The Regional Coordinating Committee for Disability Resource Centres) and aims to offer people with disabilities an opportunity to also get into the carnival spirit. It is a great event which motivates and moves all who attend it. Held in Parque Santa Catalina, admission is free until capacity is reached.

    Day 17

    • 09:00pm Body Makeup Contest: The Body Makeup Contest is one of the most unique events at carnival. Professional artists create authentic works of art using naked human bodies as canvases. Held at Santa Catalina Park and admission is free until capacity is reached.
    • 11:00pm Carnival Night: Carnival Nights mean fun, out on the streets, in amongst the crowds and everyone in costume. There will be live music held with people staying out and enjoying themselves till the early morning. From 11:00pm to 3:00am there are free concerts and live music next around. 

    Day 18

    • 06:00pm Big Carnival Parade: This is the biggest day of Carnival in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Today is the Big Carnival Parade where over 200,000 costumed revellers come out to celebrate. The city comes to a standstill as it is overtaken by carnival fever. The parade is an amazing celebration with music, colour, rhythm, floats, amazing costumes, Murgas, Compras, carnival groups and of course all the Carnival Queens.
    • 22:00 Carnival Parade After Party: And the party doesn’t stop after the parade, it continues until the early morning. Everyone is out in costumes drinking, feasting, socialising, dancing and partying the night away!

    Day 19

    • 7:00pm The Burial of the Sardine and Fireworks Show: This is one of the most popular events on carnival. It is where a parade and giant sardine puppet is burnt to symbolise the closing of carnival. Following the burning is a firework show.

    Highlights of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Carnival

    There is always something happening in Las Palmas during Carnival! The list of events worth seeing is long. With almost a month of festivities, it can be hard to decide what to do and see. Here’s Carnivaland’s bucket list of events to see at the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Carnival

    • Pregon
    • Election of the Carnival Queen (La Gala de la Reina)
    • Children’s Carnival Queen (La Gala de la Reina infantile)
    • Comparsas Contests
    • Murgas Contests
    • Election of the Drag Queen (Gala de la Drag Queen)
    • Vegueta Carnival (Carnaval de Día en Vegueta)
    • Traditional White Carnival
    • Great Carnival Parade (Gran Cabalgata)
    • Children’s Carnival Parade (Cabalgata Infantil)
    • Bodypainting Contest
    • The Sunny Carnival
    • Carnival for dogs (Carnaval Canino)
    • Burial of the Sardine (Entierro Sardina)
    • Carnival Nights

    The Pregón

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    On the first night of Carnival is one the main events, the Pregón (Proclamation). It is a proclamation speech that declares the carnival open. Held at the Plaza de Santa Ana, a historic area of original old quarter, which suddenly comes to life, with music groups parading through the streets, creating an amazing ambience. All the bars and restaurants in the area are packed with celebrations.

    Election of the Carnival Queen (Gala de la Reina)

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    One of the highlights of carnival is the gala night when the carnival queen is crowned! The Carnival Queen is the star of carnival in Gran Canaria. She is chosen at a gala from various female candidates.

    Each contestant wears an extremely large and stunning costume made of colourful feathers, sparking stones, and glittering sequins. These costumes can weigh up to 100 kilograms and have a diameter of up to 3 meters. The costumes are the result of a years’ worth of hard work and dedication.

    It takes a lot to wear these heavy dresses with grace and style. Being elected the Carnival Queen is not an easily achieved job! The most elegant lady with the most dazzling and spectacular dress is crowned the Carnival Queen.

    Drag Queen Preselection & Drag Queen Gala

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    While Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival may be known for its larger bouts of carnival debauchery, Las Palmas’ claim to fame is the Drag Queen Competition, and it is a do not miss event! A tradition which began in 1998 has continued to grow larger and more glamorous every year. The goal is to find the best male artist or singer in full drag attire!

    Being home to one of the largest LGTB-friendly communities in Europe, the local Canarios go loco over this event! And for good reason the contestants go above and beyond on their costumes and perfecting their choreography!

    There is total freedom of expression here and contestants have been known to push the limits to, so if you are easily offended, you may want to sit this one out. Politics, other cultures, superheroes are some of the chosen themes by the drag queens.

    The final features about a total of 16 Drag Queens who have survived the first round. The Grand Finale is even broadcast internationally by the Nova Channel. And last year for over two hours the Drag Queen Gala was a trending topic on Twitter (#DragQueenLPGC) worldwide! Tickets always sell out shortly after going on sale!

    After the competition why not attend the Drag Gala After Party in the Santa Catalina area. There is lots of dancing, costumes, DJ’s, drinking and celebrating. It does attend to attract a younger crowd (uni age).

    Comparsas

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    The first week of carnival is devoted to the group competitions – murgas and comparsas. These are hotly disputed competitions that attract many passionate fans!

    What is a comparsas? A comparsa is essentially a band of musicians, singers and dancers that participate in carnivals and other celebrations in Spain and Latin America. Essentially, they are all about singing on topics, while wearing fabulous costumes.

    The local comparsas spend an entire year planning and preparing to be declared the winner. The stage brims with colorful carnival costumes made from sequins and feathers. The groups pump out amazing tunes mixing Salsa, Samba, Merengue and loads of other musical styles together.

    The Murgas

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    What is a Murgas? The Murgas are Spanish carnival groups which feature satire artist that perform songs about current social and political world events. They add a touch of humour to the celebrations performing funny and entertaining songs that reflect the famous local sense of humour.

    Essentially, they are the comical version of comparsas. They are unique you could describe their performances as being a cross between choir, dance, musical comedy and poetry. They also dress up in colourful costumes while performing.

    Vegueta Carnival (Carnaval de Día en Vegueta)

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    One of the most popular events at carnival, thousands of locals and tourists alike is to dress up in costumes and head to the historic centre of town for one of the most exciting events of carnival! Some say this is one of the best days of Carnaval in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. And because it starts a week before Tenerife Carnival, you could experience both cities carnival’s!

    From 12 noon, the Daytime Carnival in Vegueta kicks off carnival season in Las Palmas, so the whole barrio is in party mode! From all angles there are DJ’s pumping out the top 40 hits, reggaeton and other loud Latin tempos. Everywhere you look are huge crowds with thousands of costumed partygoers dancing and singing their hearts out, from one stage to the next.

    The celebrations all over Vegueta, you literally can’t miss them! But for the most part they are centred around Calle Mendizábal. If Calle Mendizábal is too crowded for your liking, then explore some of the side streets for some fresh air and dancing space. All the bars are closed so drink vendors are outside on the streets.

    This is the day to go all out with your costume! Seriously, people dress up in insanely intricate costumes. If you don’t dress up, you will look like the odd one out. So, get creative and get ready to flaunt the best costume you have! The event attracts people from all age groups from families with kids to grandparents.

    When the families head home and the crowds begin to thin out, those who want to keep the party going after the sun goes down will usually head down towards Triana where cafes and restaurants host Carnaval de Día After Parties.

    Traditional Carnival

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    As far as wonderfully absurd carnival traditions go, this one is a lot of fun! The Traditional Carnival is where crowds of people dressed to the nines in white, throw lots of talcum powder at each other! The tradition dates back to when the Canarians who made their fortune in Cuba and the Americas, returned to the Canaries. The celebration originates from the island of La Palma.

    This celebration is absolute chaos, once the signal sounds there is talcum powder mayhem occurring wherever you look. Powder is thrown over everything and everyone, no one is safe! Everyone gets involved kids, adults, strangers and friends.

    Where does the Traditional Carnival take place? The festivities are centred on Avenida Guiniguada in front of Plaza de las Ranas, which is the meeting point between the neighbourhoods of Triana and historic Vegueta.

    What to Wear to Traditional Carnival? You absolutely must wear white! Many people dress up in clothing from an earlier colonial period. Some like to dress as the wealthy, whereas others choose to dress as their servants. If you don’t wear white prepare to be a target!

    Women generally wear vintage white lace dresses, a broad brimmed hat and for the dedicated ones a white lace parasol. For the men, the traditional attire is to wear a white suit with a panama hat. But of course, there is no need to go all out, you can just wear white jeans and a white t-shirt if you want.

    What to Bring to the Traditional carnival? Well bring talcum powder and lots of it! Also, we recommend you purchase it earlier because it tends to be sold out quick prior to the event. Also, the air becomes thick with a white dust and sometimes you won’t be able to see in front of you.

    So, don’t forget a facemask because the powder is quite literally everywhere and breathing that in isn’t the best idea being that it is quite toxic. Some people even wear swimming goggles to avoid the dust getting in their eyes. if you have asthma or respiratory issues you should probably avoid this event.

    The Grand Carnival Parade (Gran Cabalgata)

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    Just when you think that carnival is beginning to wind down, wrong you have the main parade! The Grand Parade takes over the city! Running over a 7km stretch, this parade is attended by over 200,000 people! The parade kicks off at 5:00pm and goes on forever, so expect a long night! Today is all about community participation, freedom, wild abandonment and fun!

    This is your chance to witness what carnival in Las Palmas is all about! The parade features the murgas, comparsas, musicians, performers, dancing troupes, amazing costumes, elaborate floats and of course the carnival Queen’s. All carnivals groups and floats are judged by a jury, with prizes handed out.

    Expect big crowds, loud music, people of all ages dancing in the streets and huge crowds livin’ La Vida Loca! The streets surrounding the parade turn into a huge party and the fun doesn’t end when the parade finishes, the party continues on until the early hours of the morning.

    What to Wear to the Grand Carnival Parade? Costumes are an absolute must for the parade and not to mention that this will be your last chance to wear them so why not go over the top! Enjoy rocking that sparkly tutu or green wig or whatever your heart desires. Many people also bring their own snacks and alcohol but there are plenty of street vendors to purchase food from.

    Street Parties – The Mogollones

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    Carnival is a street celebration and the biggest parties are the mogollones. It’s where people hit the streets with their friends or family, dressed in costumes and drink, dance, party and socialise till the early morning.

    The main parties are held on the two Saturdays prior till Shrove Tuesday and take place in the historic neighbourhoods of Triana and Vegueta. Around 15,000 people turn out for the parties! Everyone is welcome to attend, just dress up and get ready to have a good time!

    The Dog Carnival – (Carnaval Canino)

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    The Dog Carnival is actually one of the most popular events to occur during La Palmas de Gran Canaria Carnival and it’s hard not to be in a good mood, watching all the cute dogs wearing costumes that their owners mad for them. If you are an animal lover, then don’t miss this event!

    The Body Paint Competition (Concurso de Maquillaje Corporal)

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    Another highlight of carnival is the Body Art Competition where professional artists create authentic works of art using naked human bodies as canvases. The naked skin is transformed into a masterpiece using either an airbrush or simple brush into a display of art.

    The Body Art Competition showcases impossibly intricate artworks on these naked bodies. But it is more than that, the art works aka the models, also perform extraordinary choregraphed dance and song routines, complete with back up dances, in nothing but their bare skin and paint.

    It is much more low-key than other carnival events, but definitely one of the most unique events at carnival and is definitely a great night out. It takes place at the main stage in Parque de Santa Catalina.

    Burial of the Sardine (Entierro de la Sardina)

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    If you are a sucker for weird traditions, then the Burial of the Sardine is right up there! This colourful carnival celebration fades to black for the official end of the carnival. A huge parade occurs from the old town Triana to Las Caneras Beach where a giant sardine puppet is burnt on the beach to symbolise the end of carnival.

    The crowd dresses in black. Essentially dressed as widower’s “morning” the giant sardine puppet. And people go all out mourning! They pretend to cry and get on the ground in ‘agony’, which is quite amusing to watch. Jugglers and musicians accompany the sardine on its last voyage.

    After the procession, the mourners all gather on Las Canteras Beach, where the sardine is set afloat on the Atlanic. As the Sardine bobs away into the horizon suddenly BOOM! The Sardine has been set alight, followed by spectacular fireworks display that symbolises the end of carnival.

    What to Wear to the Entierro de la Sardina? Anything you want, so long as it is black. But it’s way more fun to join the theatrics and get creative. Carnival is ending, and everyone is in morning, so have a look in your closet for anything that looks like something a widow would wear like a black veil. It is another event where there is a lot of dressing in drag! You will see plenty of men dressed up in grandmas black dress.

    Tickets for Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Carnival

    One of the best things about celebrating carnival in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Carnival is that essentially 99% of the celebrations are completely free to attend! It is actually one of the cheapest carnivals in the world to attend with little to no cost being required to attend.

    The only events that require tickets are the Carnival Queen Final, Murgas Contest Final, Drag Queen Final and Drag Queen pre-selection. And even then, the tickets are quite cheap! Everyone can purchase a maximum of four tickets.

    • Murgas Contest, Final Round
      • Single price: €5.
    • Carnival Queen Gala
      • Single price: €10.
    • Drag Queen Pre-selection
      • Single price: €10.
    • Drag Queen Gala
      • Single price: €12 (standing area) and €15 (terraces).

    Tickets can be purchased from laprovincia.es. It is also possible to purchase tickets from the box office in Santa Catalina Park (Monday – Friday, 10.00–13.00 & 16.00–20.00, and Weekends, 10.00–13.00).

    If you want to be in the parade instead of watching it from the side, then you can buy a ticket to ride one of the buses that are in the parade.

    What to Wear to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Carnival?

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    Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Carnival is like what Halloween is in the United States, but times that by a thousand! For most of carnival you will see thousands of people dressed up in costumes. You will see people dressed as superheroes, cartoon characters, animals, avatars, celebrities! People spend months of the year planning and pre-paring costumes and you will often see groups of friends in matching outfits.

    Each year people usually dress in accordance with the carnival theme. So this year is ‘Once Upon A Time’, so for sure you are going to see a lot of fairy tale, legend and fable characters like Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood, Pinocchio, Tinkerbell, A Mad Hatter, Robin Hood or maybe some Lord of the Rings.

    Because of how open and tolerant Las Palmas de Canaria is expecting to see lots of cross-dressing! You may see a man with giant muscles dress up as Cinderella. Check out some fairy-tale costumes on Amazon for some ideas.

    Like we said earlier if you are going to the Traditional Carnival then wear white. If you are going to the Burial of the Sardine, then wear black. If you are just going to watch one of the events at the park like the Drag Queen or Carnival Queen Gala’s, then you can wear normal clothes.

    Everyone dresses up at the street parties so absolutely wear a costume. At the Daytime Carnivals and Grand Parade, it is essential to wear a costume, and these are the days where people go all out!

    How to get to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria?

    • By Plane: Gran Canaria has an international airport – Gran Canaria International Airport. The airport receives flights from Madrid (2.5hrs), Barcelona (3hrs) and Bilbao (3hrs). Flights from the UK take around 4 hours. It also has flights to a few other destinations in Europe. From the airport you can catch bus number 60 to the city.
    • By Boat: The Port of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria receives boats from all over the world and other Canary Island destinations including Africa, Europe and America, due to its strategic position. Acciona Transmediterránea operates a boat to and from Cádiz on the Spanish mainland, which takes 2 days. Naviera Armas operates to and from Madeira, Fuerteventura, Tenerife, Lanzarote, Portugal and several other islands.

    How to get around Las Palmas de Gran Canaria?

    gran canaria carnival

    Getting around Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is super easy and quick thanks to their reliable and frequent public transport services. There are only two bus companies on Gran Canaria, both companies running 24/7 to just about every corner of the island. The Blue Buses (Global) transports visitors around the island, while the Yellow Bus (Guaguas Municipales) operates in the city centre.

    You can always take a taxi, as official licensed taxis are readily available.

    Where to stay for Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Carnival?

    Las Palmas has a population of 400,000 so it is not exactly a small city. Therefore, you have numerous options for accommodation that suit every level of comfort and budget. But book your accommodation quickly because hoteliers report an occupancy rate of 95% and 100% in some areas.

    If you want to be close to carnival many tourists opt to stay around the Parque de Santa Catalina area, so you can walk everywhere and be as close as possible to the action. The closest accommodation options to the park are Miami Santa Catalina (€70+ per night), Hotel Acuario Boutique (€130+), Hotel Boutique Bed and Chic (€70+), Cielo Azul (€70+), Loft Santa Catalina Park, (€70+), Tamarán (€70+), AC Hotel Gran Canaria (€120+),  and for a budget option Hostal Kasa(€30+).

    Las Canteras Beach is the heart of the city and has a long beachfront promenade that runs the entire length of the beach. It is the perfect place to stay if you want to enjoy beautiful walks along the beach, soak up some sun, go for a swim or hang out in a trendy bar or restaurant. There are lots of amazing hotel accommodation options all along the beach.

    Anywhere in Las Palmas or nearby the capital is generally quite a convenient place to stay. Of course, you can stay on other parts of the island, but it’s important to note that during major carnival events there will be many roads closed off for parades and such. So due to the nature of the island’s layout and roads you may end up on a big detour trying to get back to your accommodation.

    It’s also very important that you book your accommodation as early as possible because it gets booked up very quickly! Check out some great accommodation deals here.

    Is Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Safe?

    Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is generally a very safe place to visit but be aware of pickpockets! Especially during carnival when there are big crowds and it is easier to get your stuff stolen.

    So be aware of your valuables at all times or even leave them back at your hotel and only bring some cash with you. Or check out Amazon and invest in one of these travel safety accessories, like a fanny pack hidden under your clothing to store your essentials in.

    What to do and see in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria?

    palmas gran canaria carnival

    Situated just off the north-western coast of Africa means that the Canary Islands have the perfect climate year-round dubbed by many as dubbed “the world’s best climate,” making it the most spectacular travel destination. And while you will enjoy the weather, it is the sights and tranquillity that you will adore!

    The island has so much to do, see and experience that carnival is just the icing on the cake! Las Palmas has picturesque beaches, and an amazing array of restaurants, architecture, cafes, shops, night clubs and bars.

    One of the most popular destinations is Las Canteras Beach which is said to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the Canary Islands. Famous for its 4km stretch of golden sand and incredible snorkelling, due to La Barra reef’s protection from the surf during the low tide.

    Explore the old city of Vegueta, filled with rich history. Founded in 1478 it has cobblestone streets and many traditional buildings from that time. Make sure you visit Catedral de Santa Ana a stunning church. Visit the House of Columbus, the first governor’s residence. Climb up the Atlantic Gothic building tower so you will see the most stunning views of Las Palmas and volcanic craters.

    The botanical garden Jardín Botánico Canario Viera y Clavijo is another very popular destination to visit. It is quite large and a great place to really appreciate the natural beauty of the island with over 500 native plant species on display for many visitors to view.

    If you love hiking, then the Bandama Caldera volcanic crater features several hiking trails and is a popular place to cycle or trek.  

    Outside of Las Palmas, Gran Canaria has an amazing array of restaurants, bars and shops to explore. So, if you want to head out of the city there are also lots of great sights and attractions to visit around the island.

    Visit Maspalomas, one of the largest beaches on the island and famous for its vast sand dunes. And if you go to Playa de Ingles, you can go on walking routes and explore the dunes. Or if you like to party, then Playa del Ingles is known as being the islands party epicentre.

    Visit Roque Nublo an 80-metre-high volcanic rock that is situated in Tejada. It is a UNESCO protected natural sight that erupted over four and a half million years ago. It is a great place if you’re interested in hiking. Visit Sioux City Theme Park, this is a western style theme park where absolutely everything is a replica of the Wild Wild West.

    Which Gran Canaria Carnival? Las Palmas or Tenerife?

    Carnival in the Canary Islands occurs all over the archipelago. The islands are an explosion of music, colour, fun, parades, costumes, dance troupes and outdoor parties during carnival! The Islands are home to not one but two of the best carnivals in the world Tenerife and Las Palmas! We love both carnivals and can highly recommend both carnivals, so choosing between them is going to be a personal choice. To help you make your decision read our Ultimate Guide on Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival.

    Take a Tour

    Honestly there is so much cool stuff to do and see in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, we recommend doing some sightseeing when you are there. Everything from gastronomic tours, whale watching, cycling or exploring national parks and volcanos can be done, just check out Viator where you’ll find loads of different, excursions, day trips and sightseeing tours.

    Or if you are incredibly lucky and are able to take a longer vacation then just coming out for carnival, take a look at Tour Radar, as they have lots of different itineraries for amazing vacations around the Canary Islands, which we highly recommend because it is such a unique part of the world. 

    Before you go!

    We can’t stress enough the importance of travel insurance. Being protected on your travels gives you an irreplaceable peace of mind. Don’t learn the hard way about the importance of travel insurance. Never travel without coverage. Get a quote through our recommended insurance provider, World Nomads.

    Can’t Wait? Well neither can we! If you are spending your winter cooped up inside trying to stay warm, but would prefer some fun in the sun, then you must head to the Canary Islands to be part of one of the world’s best carnivals!

    Also check out Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival which is another Canary Island Carnival! Honestly if you live in Europe then this is the hottest place to be during winter.

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