Fiestas in the Canary Islands

They say that in August alone there are more than 50 fiestas. Here are some of the most outstanding festivals in the Canary Islands

Carnival - February/March, Santa Cruz de Tenerife

One of Europe's biggest carnivals, this grand street party is a lavish spectacle of extravagant costumes and Latin American dance music to rival that of Rio de Janeiro. For years under the Franco regime, Carnival was suppressed for its irreverent frivolity. It begins with the election of a queen of the festivities and builds up to a climax on Shrove Tuesday when there is a large procession. The 'funeral' of an enormous mock sardine takes place on Ash Wednesday. Carnival is also celebrated on the islands of Lanzarote and Gran Canaria.

Corpus Christi - May/June

La Orotava (Tenerife)

(Right) The streets of the town are filled with flower carpets in striking patterns, while the Plaza del Ayuntamiento is covered in copies of works of art, formed from coloured volcanic sands.

Descent of the Virgin of the Snows

July (every 5 years - 2000, 2005, etc), Santa Cruz de La Palma.

Romeria de la Virgen de la Candelaria

15 August - Candelaria, Tenerife.

Pilgrims come here in their thousands to venerate the Canary Islands' patroness.

Fiesta del Charco

7-11 September - San Nicolas de Tolentino, Gran Canaria. People leap into a large saltwater pond to catch mullet.