The Fiestas of Lanzarote
Dia de los Reyes (Three Kings)
Unlike most western countries where children receive their Christmas presents from Santa Claus, children in Lanzarote and the rest of Spain must wait for the arrival of the three wise men for their big present on January 6th.
The Feast of the Epiphany marks the day that Melchior, Caspar, and Balthazar arrived in Bethlehem bearing gifts for the baby Jesus. Virtually every town in Spain celebrates the day with a parade in the early evening that sees the three kings riding through the town on horses and camels throwing sweets to the many children who have turned out to greet them.
While the world may associate the word carnival with the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro or the raunchiest Mardi Gras party in New Orleans, the Canary Islands and in particular Tenerife knows how to celebrate leading up to Lent. Not to be left out in the cold, the people of Lanzarote celebrate the event with week-long parties and colourful parades in both Arrecife and Puerto Carmen. Many holiday makers like to join in the fun as well scheduling their arrival to correspond with the event which occurs around the last week in February.
Corpus Christi & San Juan Festival
Held 60 days after Easter, or the Sunday immediately following this, The Feast of Corpus Christ has the citizens of Arrecife, Haria and other Lanzarote towns laying out intricate mosaics comprised of dyed sea salt.
The night of San Juan is held on the summer solstice and celebrated by building bonfires on the beach to ward off evil pagan spirits.
Fiesta de San Ginés
Celebrated on the 25th of August in honour of Arrecife’s patron, San Ginés, Lanzarote comes alive with music and street parties before the big firework display on the beach in front of the Arrecife Gran Hotel. San Ginés Day also marks the crowning of a new Miss Lanzarote and the oldest sailing race in Spain that sees boats compete to be the first to arrive in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, after a gruelling 111 nautical miles.
Our Lady of los Dolores pilgrimage and festival
Held in September to celebrate Lanzarote’s patron saint, thousands of traditionally dressed islanders set off to meet up at in Tinajo (near Teguise) at lunchtime. From there laden with shopping trolleys full of food and drink they make their way to the chapel in the village of Mancha Blanca. After having paraded a statue of Dolores through the village the pilgrims congregate around the point where in 1824 a lava flow from a nearby volcano miraculously came to a halt. The event is hugely popular with beer waggons and food stalls all setting up shop to cater what is probably Lanzarote’s biggest party.