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After the conclusion of Yule and New Year holidays and the celebration of Reyes Magos, the Three Kings Epiphany festivities, the first of e major weekend events have started once again, marking the beginning of yet another year filled with lively celebrations and festivities here on our sub-tropical island of Gran Canaria. Here is the first The Canary Guide #WeekendTips of 2024.
The first of this year’s patron saints’ festivities, in honour of San Sebastián, are taking place in the old towns of Agüimes, Agaete, Moya and Gáldar.
The almond trees across the island’s mountainous interior, stretching from Valsequillo to Ayacata, Tunte to Tejeda, are in full bloom, heralding mid-winter and the on-rushing iminence of Springtime (in the land of eternal Spring), as well as swelling anticipation for the transgressions of Carnival which will mark the transition back to our mildest weather and most verdant season. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria will of course be the first to start their celebrations, starting next week, Thursday 25 January, with local carnivals announced in every major town across the island to follow.
The 14th edition of the Mogán classic rally was suppose to be held this Saturday but has been suspended. This regularity event for historic vehicles (25 years old and more) is a scoring round for the Classic Cup Gran Canaria starting and finishing at Paseo de Los Marrero in Puerto de Mogán for the delight of spectators.
25 January – 4 February • Fiestas de la Candelaria y San Blas in Ingenio
26-28 January • Almond Blossom Route Festival in Valsequillo de Gran Canaria
26 January- 4 February • Fiestas Patronales Nuestra Señora de Candelaria 2024 – Villa de Moya
25 January-18 •February Carnival Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
3-4 February • The 51st Almond Blossom Festival in Tejeda
2-24 February • Gáldar Carnival
3-25 February • Agüimes Carnival
8-18 February • Ingenio Carnival
24 February-9 March • La Aldea de San Nicolás Carnival
29 February – 10 March • Santa Lucía de Tirajana Carnival
7-17 March • Maspalomas International Carnival
9-10 March • European Cheese Fair in Santa Maria de Guía
Upcoming bank holidays:
Friday 2 February • Local bank holiday in Ingenio: Our Lady of Candelaria
Tuesday 13 February • Local bank holiday in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Santa Brígida, Valleseco, Teror, Tejeda, Moya, Arucas, Firgas
Shrove Tuesday – Martes de Carnaval
Thursday 15 February • Local bank holiday in Agüimes: Carnival Thursday – Jueves de Carnaval
Local bank holiday in Ingenio: Thursday after Ash Wednesday/Jueves posterior al miércoles de ceniza
Tuesday 19 March • Local bank holiday in Santa María de Guía: Festividad de San José
Thursday 28 March • Public Holiday in The Canary Islands – Holy Thursday/Jueves Santo;
Friday 29 March • Public Holiday in Spain – Holy Friday/Viernes Santo;
A lovely January weekend ahead on Gran Canaria, as wintery as any with some chill in the night time air. Highs in the shade reach up towards 23-24ºC in coastal areas, though a good 10º cooler at around 13-14ºC on the summits. As we head into next week, the temperatures look set to head upwards a few degrees, according the current AEMET weather predictions.
Friday: On the north, cloudy skies with a probability of weak and occasional rains, tending to clear along the coasts from midday. Elsewhere, slightly cloudy skies with occasional cloudy intervals. Maximum temperatures in slight to moderate decline on the northern half, with few changes to the south. Moderate northwest winds turning northeast during the central hours. Locally and occasionally very strong gusts are not ruled out on the western and eastern slopes during the first half of the day.
Saturday: To the north, cloudy skies with the probability of isolated and generally weak rains, coasts tending to clear from midday. Slightly cloudy or clear skies with cloudy intervals to the southwest during the afternoon. Temperatures with few changes. Moderate northeast wind with intervals of greater intensity on the southeast and northwest slopes.
Sunday: Predominance of cloudy intervals, which will be more compacted to the north of the island with a low probability of weak and occasional rains during the first half of the day. In the afternoon, tending to be slightly cloudy or clear. Temperatures will see few changes. Moderate northeast winds with strong intervals and probable strong gusts on the southeast and northwest slopes.
The Canary Guide
AGÚIMES | FIESTAS SEBASTIÁN | 12-26 JANUARY
Agüimes celebrates San Sebastián with music, traditional gatherings, and historic rituals between 12-26 January 2024. Among the main scheduled events, there are folkloric meetings, a livestock fair, the Caracol Gastronomic Days (the finest snail dishes, traditionally eaten in the area) and various popular concerts including the likes of Vocal Siete and the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra stand out.
The municipality of Agüimes hosts festivities in honour of San Sebastián, a celebration that has its origins in 1487, when the island was first formally incorporated into the Crown of Castile, by royal decree, officially inaugurating the Episcopal Lordship of Agüimes, then overseen by the catholic church and the bishopric seat of Gran Canaria. Since then, the date has been marked on the calendar as the festival that commemorates the origin of the first town officially recorded in the Southeast of Gran Canaria, while the saint went on to become the full patron saint of this municipality.
537 years later, Agüimes once again remembers its founding with a program of events, which includes recreational and cultural activities for all tastes, including folklore and traditional workshops, musical events, a livestock fair and the 13th edition of the “Gastronomic Days of the Snail”.
13th Caracol Gastronomic Days | 18-21 January
Gastronomy afficionados also have a place in the patron saint’s festivities with the 13th edition of the Snail Gastronomic Days, from Thursday the 18th to Sunday the 21st. As usual, the days will feature the participation of several establishments in the historic town centre, which will offer in their facilities the best traditional recipes and new, priced to encourage popular participation. The establishments involved will be the El Populacho gastrobar, the La Esquina bar, the San Antón bar, the Ca Migue cafeteria bar, the Atis Tirma restaurant, the El Guanchinche restaurant and the Magec Café & Burger Bar establishment.
Friday 19 January:
20:00 the evening will be infused with music, first with a meeting of boleros and South American songs, ‘Historias de un amor’, which will take place at the Agüimes Municipal Theatre
at 22:30 a festive evening in Plaza del Rosario led by Grupo Mambo and Línea DJ.
Saturday, 20 January: Feast Day of San Sebastián
10:00 Livestock fair on the esplanade of the Agüimes Auditorium Theatre.
11:30 Eucharist, followed by a religious procession with the images of San Sebastián and Ntra. Sra. del Rosario
23:00 The great celebration in Plaza del Rosario with a DJ Event Music festival.
Sunday 21 January:
11:00 The morning will be dedicated to the little ones, with a children’s play park at the plaza.
20:00 the Municipal Theater of Agüimes will host the 13th Parranda del Lejío Solidarity Gala, with performances by the organizing group, Parranda Pal Ingenio and the singer Juan Pablo Vega. Admission to the gala will be free of charge, although attendees will be asked to provide non-perishable food and hygiene or cleaning products, which will be allocated to the people most in need through Cáritas Agüimes.
GÁLDAR | FIESTAS SAN SEBASTIÁN | 19 JANUARY - 1 FEBRUARY
The ancient royal city of Gáldar celebrates San Sebastián 2024, observed for more than five centuries in the municipality with a program of events that take place over more than two weeks in the neighbourhood of the same name and the old city centre.
The festivities run between 19 January to February 1, featuring popular, religious, and cultural events, including its most traditional events this weekend with the Raising of the Flag, the Pedro de Argüello Tertulia, a procession, and the Water Prayer.
(*BIC festivities declared of Cultural interest) “Every year in January, the City of Gáldar celebrates festivities in honor of San Sebastián. Its historic hermitage and the entire neighborhood are decorated to host the main events of this celebration with great tradition in the municipality. The “usual” program will begin with the general ringing of bells and the raising of the flag. On the main day of the Festival of San Sebastian, on January 20, a procession begins in the Plaza de San Sebastian and ends in the Plaza de Santiago. Another of the acts is the return procession of San Sebastián and the Water Prayer.”
Highlights this weekend:
Friday 19 January:
at 19:30 Raising the flag at Plaza de San Sebastián
Saturday 20 January: Feast Day
at 19:00 the religious procession will leave from the hermitage of San Sebastián with the statues of San Sebastián, San Amaro, and San Buenaventura, followed by a eucharist in the Templo Santuario de Santiago Apóstol.
Route: Plaza de San Sebastián, Franciscanos, San Amaro, Bajada de Las Guayarminas, Capitán Quesada and Plaza de Santiago.
Sunday 21 January:
at 19:00 eucharist in the Templo Santuario de Santiago Apóstol, followed by a return procession of the statues of San Sebastián, San Amaro, and San Buenaventura to the hermitage. Upon the arrival at Plaza de Los Heredamientos, “Prayer of the water”.
AGAETE | FIESTAS DE SAN SEBASTIÁN |12-28 JANUARY
Villa de Agaete celebrate their first festivities of the year in the San Sebastián neighbourhood. The festivities in honour of the Saint will feature religious, recreational, and cultural events, for the enjoyment of all residents, visitors, for families and designed for all ages.
Friday 19 January:
20:30 in front of the town tall, departure of “retreta” the retreat with Banda Guayedra and a firework spectacle, followed by a late-night festive party with Dúo Resplandor
Saturday 20 January: Feast Day
at Plaza de San Sebastián
at 11:30 Eucharist and procession
at 14:00 Day time party with Dúo Resplandor
at 16:00 lively little street parades with music group Archipiélago
at 17:00 children’s traditional games
at 23:00 Party with D`Music
Sunday 21 January:
at 12:00 Concert by A.M Guayedra
at 14:00 Festive party
LAS PALMAS DE G.C. | CARNIVAL - PRESENTATION OF THE CANDIDATES | FRIDAY 19 JANUARY
Access to the event will be free until capacity is reached. However, people interested in putting a face to the named contestants will also be able to tune in thanks to the RTVC broadcast that will take the event into all the homes of the Archipelago.
Girls and boys, extraordinary candidates, and aspirants to the carnival throne will parade before fans and find out the order in which they will participate in the various galas to be hosted in the city over the coming weeks.
Plaza de Santa Ana will be the place where the 13 candidates for Carnival Queen and the 23 candidates for Drag Queen will meet, as well as the six candidates for Great Lady and the ten for the Children’s Throne, in an event directed by Josué Quevedo and chaired by Mayor Carolina Darias along with the councilor responsible for the event.
The Queen of 2020, Minerva Hernández, and the presenter of the RTVC program ‘Ponte al día’, Pedro Machín, will be in charge of conducting a live draw that is already celebrating five years in the carnival calendar where it has been consolidated as a ceremony that allows the candidates to share with their designers and sponsors the order they will occupy in the four galas.
ARUCAS, CABILDO'S FARM | AGRICULTURAL MARKET & TENDERETE DEL BAIFO | SATURDAY 20 JANUARY
On Saturday, at the Granja del Cabildo, the experimental farm of Cabildo de Gran Canaria on Arucas coast, enjoy the 2nd “Tenderete del Baifo” with cheeses from Gran Canaria as well as the bi-weekly Agricultural market. Two events to explore on the same day, same place.
MERCADO AGRÍCOLA DE ARUCAS FROM 09:00-13:30
This market takes place every fortnight in the facilities of Cabildo’s Experimental Agricultural Farm, located just off the exit to Arucas from the GC-2, on the north coast of Gran Canaria. The market comprises local exhibitors (farmers and ranchers) who market their products directly to the consumer, at lower than usual costs.
Fresh, seasonal, local produce.
2º TENDERETE DEL BAIFO CON QUESOS DE GRAN CANARIA FROM 12:00-17:00
“Baifo is a coloquial Canarian word used for a baby goat, or anyone who shows youthful shyness”
From 12:00 to 17:00 children’s activities, live music and Km.0 tapas at popular prices while supplies last.
12:00-12:30 lively street music with Banda Guiniguada.
12:30-13:00 official inauguration
12:30-14:00 activities for children
from 13:00 sale of tapas
13:00-14:00 music by “Los Cochineros de Ingenio”
15:00-16:30 music by “Los 600”
15:00-17:00 Traditional and popular games
MARKET DAYS IN THE SOUTH OF GRAN CANARIA THIS WEEKEND
• Friday is always market day in Playa de Mogán in the morning. This popular market is in one of the prettiest fishing harbour towns on Gran Canaria, very popular with tourists.
• On Saturday, the Maspalomas market offers all kinds of textiles, Objet d‘art and other articles, located at Parque Europeo in Playa del Inglés, while the municipal market is being re-built. It is one of the markets most enjoyed among visitors (along with Friday’s in Playa de Mogán);
El Mercadillo de Maspalomas is on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 08:00-14:00.
• On Saturday in Arguineguín, a very small second-hand market on Plaza Negra (the marketplace) in the morning 09:00-14:00 with a wide range pre-loved treasures.
• On Sunday, the “rastro” second-hand market, ****The second-hand market now takes place in the Ciudad deportiva de Maspalomas, next to football field 2 and close to Pepe Chiringo and Parque Sur de Maspalomas.
• This Sunday, the very popular biweekly farmers’ Market, ‘Mercado Agrícola y ganadero de San Fernando‘ will be held in the parking area next to the football Stadium and the municipal offices from 08:00-14:00. A chance to purchase fresh, locally-grown food and value-added produce directly from growers or producers — an authentic retail experience.
TUNTE | PILANCONES TUNTE TRAIL | SATURDAY 20 JANUARY
It is going to be a busy day in the mountainous area of the municipality with the Pilancones Tunte Trail race taking place in the municipality of San Bartolomé de Tirajana this Saturday.
The 7th edition of the Pilancones Tunte Trail consolidating its commitment to sports and mountain races. The race itself has 3 modalities: 9, 25 and 34 km with several different categories.
Start: from the Plaza de Tunte
at 08:30 CHALLENGE 34KM limit 6:00 hours
at 08:30 HALF 25KM limit 5:00 hours
at 09:30 MINI 9 KM limit 3:00 hours
Finish: On the football field
11:00 a.m. Opening of the dining room.
13:00 Trophy presentation.
14:30 Closing of the race