When was the last time that you celebrated the carnival? If you think of nightlife, it is not very common that carnival celebration will come to your mind. Here, I will review the top 10 things to do in the Canary Islands at night, including alternative options, such as open-air music events and local fiestas. Grab your agenda and let’s get the planning started!
1. The Indians or Los Indianos
It is a traditional festivity that takes place on the first Monday of the Carnival. Celebrated at La Palma, it commemorates emigration of canary people to Cuba. Emigrants of XIX century used to come back to the Canary, having acquired wealth. Therefore, the actual tradition of celebration consists of carnival march, where people throw dust of talk to each other. The celebration starts at 12.00 with degustation of rum, sugar cane drinks, mojito, cigars, tobacco and continues till night, when carnival participants imitate a rich emigrant´s come back home. They carry heavy bags, cages with exotic animals and even lead their “slaves”. You can be part of this carnival if you want.
2. Celebration of the Almond tree in Blossom or Fiesta de Almendro en flor
The festival is celebrated in Tejeda on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of February. Within the list of festive activities, there are the handling of the golden almond, the manners theater, and many more musical and cultural activities. At daytime, enjoy artisan market and folklore street music. At night, enjoy the local celebrations and fiestas. Every year the activities vary, but there will be definitely plenty of dancing and music.
3. International music festival of the Canary Islands
International music festival of the Canary takes place every January and February. It attracts many artists from around the globe. This year, the International music festival of the Canary hosted such artists as Petras Bingelis, Kent Nagano, Martha Argerich, Bryn Terfel, Maria Joao Pires, Brenda Rae, Marianna Pizzolato, Vassily Sinaisky, Mohammed Diaby, Damian Martínez and many more. Purchase your tickets in advance and come to enjoy the best voices of actual days.
4. Dance od dwarfs or Danza de los enanos
Dwarfs’ dance or Danza de Los Enanos is one of the most famous festive activities of the Canary Islands. This beautiful dance is celebrated every five years because of festivities of Virgen de las Nieves at Santa Cruz de la Palma. In each of the ceremonies, mystery and magic take over the festive atmosphere. The crowd, awaiting, watches as a group of men performs a dance and disappears in the pavilion situated in the center of the arena. Once they appear again, they are disguised in dwarfs and perform polka dance at Plaza of Santa Domingo.
The celebration takes place at the end of July and beginning of August and is definitely worth seeing. The next celebration will take place in 2020.
5. The feast of the branch or Fiesta de la rama
Held in Agaete, its international fame precedes it. Organized as a celebration in honor of the Virgen de las Nieves, the feast of the Branch is a celebration whose origin has been related to the customs of the ancient aborigines of the island of Gran Canaria. Indecently fun, it’s one of those pagan parties, the celebration of which you just can’t miss!
6. The feast of the pine or Fiesta del pino
One of the most emotional festivals of Gran Canaria is the festivity in honor of Virgen del Pino, patron saint of the Diocese of the Canary Islands. Over the course of several weeks, the beautiful municipality of Teror becomes the goal of thousands of pilgrims and tourists, eager to enjoy the celebration. Even if you don´t have any religious devotion, this is definitely a must-live experience.
7. Famara celebrations or Fiestas de Famara
Now we move to the beautiful island of Lanzarote to talk about the celebrations of the Sacred Heart of Mary (in Famara). It is an annual celebration that brings together thousands of people who come together in a beautiful town. Every year a multitude of visitors and local people enjoy dances, degustation, theatrical performances, workshops and much more activities that take place at day and at night. However, the most representative part of the celebration is the verbena del agua.
8. The feast of the apple
Fiesta de la Manzana consists of multiple celebrations such as a craft fair of local artisans ranging from carpenters, ceramists, craftsmen of leather and stone, basket makers to weavers, traditional costumes makers or woodcarvers; don´t miss the apple and cider tasting and Abenechara Folkloric Encounter!
9. Fiesta de la danza del diablo
The Dance of the Devil of Tijarafe has made thousands of people vibrate another year again. In the Plaza de Candelaria, this traditional infernal dance is celebrated at dawn. It is one of the most emblematic fiestas in the municipality. Last year Tijarafe hosted more than 8.000 people. Tijarafe is the capital of fun. The Dance of the Devil declared a Property of Cultural Interest and Festival of Tourist Interest of the Canary Islands gathers a crowd in the municipality every year. The diabolical figure, embedded in a frame of about 100 kilos of fiberglass and pyrotechnic charge, appears in the enclosure around 03:00 am. The venue is flooded with excitement, fireworks, and frantic fun. Come and be part of this celebration!
10. El coso
The coso is the apotheosis of the carnival of Tenerife. It is celebrated on Tuesday of Carnival, in the afternoon. It is celebrated at the coastline, and people arrive hours before to have good places. There are some chairs, but in general, you will be watching the carnival standing. It is the biggest carnival parade of Tenerife, with participants of all ages, both children and adults. Every year the carnival has a specific topic. The last year’s topic was horror. I highly recommend you to actively participate in the carnival and be in tune with the topic. Come, dance and celebrate! It’s much more fun than just watching.