Events throughout the year
Día de Reyes – 6 de enero – The Feast of Epiphany is traditionally Spain’s main festive holiday, when children receive their presents brought not by Santa Claus, but by the Three Kings.
On “El Día de los Reyes” Spain and Latin American countries celebrate the biblical adoration of baby Jesus by the three Kings, also known as the three Wise Men or Magi.
In Spain ‘Los Reyes Magos’ – Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar – play a similar role to Santa Claus in many other parts of the world. Spanish children write letters to the Three Kings, or Three Wise Men, who then bring the children gifts the night before, or on the morning of the Epiphany, January 6th.
In some houses children leave their shoes outside the door so that the Three Kings will fill them with gifts, often leaving bigger presents alonsgide.
Just as children in many other places leave out some food and drink for Santa, and a carrot for Rudolph, Spanish children make sure to leave a drink for each of the Three Kings and some food and drink for their camels – as this is the only night of the year when the animals eat and drink.
February & March
Carnival – The carnival is defined as a public celebration that takes place immediately before the Christian Lent, with a date variable that can range from late January until early March depending on the year. This festival combines some elements that make it unmistakable, as costumes, parades and festivities on the street. It was also well known to some festivals of a similar nature at any stage of the year. Despite many of the big differences that presents its celebration throughout the world, a common characteristic is to be a period of permissiveness and some slippage.
March & April
Easter – Spain is very famous for numerous events held during Semana Santa or Holy Week. Holy Week (Hebdomada Sancta or Maior Hebdomada – „Greater Week“) in Christianity is the last week before Easter. It includes religious holidays of Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday) and Good Friday. I does not include Easter Sunday which belongs to The Great Fifty Days.
All of the religious holidays mentioned commemorate the last week in life of Jesus Christ, his crucifixion on Good Friday and the resurrection on Easter Sunday.
Processions in Spanish cities are especially spectacular. Some of the people participating in procession wear the nazareno or the penitential robe. It has several parts – a tunic, „capriote“ (a conical shaped hood) used to hide the face of person wearing the nazareno. Sometimes person also wears a cloak too. The nazareno robe is of medieval origin.
Day of the Cross, May 3 – This local festival is celebrated in Teguise and Tías, where residents decorate the doors of their houses with crosses made of different flowers.
Pilgrimage of San Isidro, May 15 – Wallfahrt von San Isidro, 15. Mai – The town of Uga, south of Lanzarote, carries out the Pilgrimage of San Isidro every May 15th. This festival celebrates a procession of beautiful colors accompanied by camels (since Uga is its main breeding village) and several folkloric performances.
Lanzarote Ironman Triathlon Competition – Among the various professional competitions that take place on the island, the Ironman turns out to be one of the most important triathlon events in the world. Around 800 athletes compete for maximum points in the following events: swimming (3.8 km), cycling (180 km) and running (42 km). All are held in a single day. The central organization of this event is located in Club La Santa, on the north coast of the island. The main events are held on the first day, but the program of events covers a few more days, with popular races, parties and award ceremonies.
End of May & beginning of June
Corpus Christi – Fronleichnam – Corpus Christi celebrations take place in many cities, towns and villages throughout the island. However, these celebrations acquire their greatest splendor in Arrecife. The preparations for this religious event begin on early Saturday, building real works of art in the form of huge rugs of salt dyed from the Salinas de Janubio, which embellish the streets and squares with their bright colors and beautiful designs.
San Juan –The celebrations of Saint John’s Day, the night of June 23 to 24, mark the beginning of summer. During this night, the tradition calls for large bonfires to be lit all over the island and corn ears to be roasted, enlivened by music and folkloric dances.
San Marcial del Rubicón – This saint is the patron of the island. During the first week of July you can see the celebrations in his honor in many places, although his image is venerated in the homonymous church, located in the southern town of Femés.
Nuestra Señora del Carmen – The second half of July is full of celebrations in all the towns and villages to honor Our Lady of Carmen. We highlight especially those of Teguise, the old capital of the island, on the coast of Puerto del Carmen, in Playa Blanca and in the fishing village of Caleta de Sebo, the most important town of La Graciosa. In these processions it is taken out along from the coast an image of the Virgin on board a boat, accompanied by many other decorated fishing boats that sail with their crew to ask for a good catch in the coming year. During the festivities of the Virgen del Carmen are also carried out many traditional activities, such as Canarian wrestling, performances of folkloric groups, festivals and craft fairs. You will be amazed at the number of people who come to Teguise to bring their offerings to the Virgin.
San Ginés – The festivities of San Ginés are given in honor of the patron of Arrecife. They last about a week and their final point is August 25. They consist of parades, processions and festivals in the streets of the capital.
Nuestra Señora de Los Remedios – This festival is celebrated the first week of September with a joyous pilgrimage to the Church of Los Remedios, in Yaiza.
Nuestra Señora de Los Dolores – Legend has it that “Our Lady of Sorrows”, also known as the Virgin of the Volcanoes, saved the village of Mancha Blanca when a nearby volcano erupted, threatening to leave the population buried under tons of lava. Every year the inhabitants make a pilgrimage to the church to thank the Virgin for this ephemeris. Between the celebrations, sports spectacles, competitions and a fair of crafts are included.
Festival de Música Visual – The Festival of Visual Music of Lanzarote is a cultural event of international importance organized since 1989 by the Cabildo of the island, together with the Ministry of Tourism and where contemporary music is combined with the amazing cultural heritage of Lanzarote. It takes place in two auditoriums located in the volcanic caves of the Jameos del Agua and the Cueva de los Verdes, north of the island. There are two impressive places of interest and extraordinary locations that create a unique experience, both for the audience and for the performers. Since its inception, new places have been discovered where these exceptional concerts can be held, such as the Volcán del Cuervo (an ancient quarry for the extraction of volcanic ash on the Tahíche Mountain) and the Convent of Santo Domingo, in Teguise.
International Running Challenge – There are four races in four consecutive days, in different locations and with different distances that attract participants from all over Europe. The “Internation Running Challenge” is an event whose popularity has increased a lot in the last 20 years. In this race, which takes place in November every year, people run for pleasure but, of course, also for competition.
Atlantic Odyssey – This is an event for the family and it is a favorite. The “Atlantic Odyssey” is an annual transatlantic regatta that takes place in November and in which participants sail from Lanzarote (or La Palma) to Martinique, in the Caraibas. A maximum of 60 ships cross the ocean, by way of maintaining it is a spirit of interaction and camaraderie.
Christmas – Weihnachten – On Christmas Eve there is the traditional Misa del Gallo, in which many faithful attend a special mass at night. On Christmas day, families usually come together to enjoy a great party.
Santos Inocentes – On December 28 is celebrated the day of the Holy Innocents, equivalent to April 1 in many other countries in the world and in which all kinds of jokes are taken.
New Year celebrations – Neujahrsfeiern – The New Year in Lanzarote is fun, entertaining and traditional. New Year’s Eve, whose importance is not going to be behind Christmas itself, is celebrated with the traditional 12 grapes of luck (one in each stroke) and a glass of cava. As you can imagine, eating and drinking so fast can be a most hilarious experience.
Spain (Canary Islands): holidays, holidays, bank closings, school holidays: www.dias-festivos.com