Thursday, January 29, 2015

Carnival time once again

Carnival time in the Canary Islands has begun and this is a huge event that doesn't exactly keep to the traditional carnival timetable. It goes on well after Ash Wednesday, even getting close to Easter some years, as each community stages their own and wants participants from neighbouring towns. The main events are in Las Palmas on Gran Canaria and in Santa Cruz on Tenerife, the latter being the second-largest carnival in the world after Rio de Janeiro. In Santa Cruz this year's theme is 'Carnival of the Future' (see their 2015 programme in English).
But wherever you'll be in the Canaries over the next few weeks watch out for local posters and announcements. The actual parades and main events couldn't be missed anyway - the sights and sounds are obvious.
Each community end their festivities with the 'funeral of the sardine' when a large papier-mache sardine full of pyrotechnics  is burnt and pushed into the sea, accompanied by the wailing of 'grieving ladies', i.e. men dressed in women's black clothes.
In San Sebastian de La Gomera this year's carnival theme is 'India' with events starting next week, while Valle Gran Rey and Alajero with Playa Santiago start later (see posters below).The remaining towns here will have their own carnival as well, t.b.a.later.

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