The 2017 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Carnival kicks off on 10th February with the slogan ‘Eternal Spring’.
The Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Carnival will be hitting the streets between 10th February and 5th March 2017. But let’s be serious for a moment. Carnival lovers, both male and female, take little notice of dates on a calendar. The people who breathe life into this fiesta actually start thinking of next year’s disguise as soon as they wipe the make-up off their faces and take off their wigs this year. The carnival has a programme, but it is really all about a sentiment, a huge wave that everyone is invited to dive into. Fancy taking the plunge?
There is yet more to prove that Las Palmas de Gran Canaria is Carnival City every day of the year. Over the last few days, and even over the last few months, the far-off deafening rumble of the drums and songs by murgas groups can be heard emanating from rehearsal rooms situated in quite the unlikeliest of places. Here, the grand carnival menu simmers away, ready to be served up on the city’s streets from February onwards.
The slogan for the upcoming Carnival, Eternal Spring, fits like a hand in a glove with the essence of the fiesta and the island’s capital city itself. Men and women who are over seventy, eighty and even ninety years of age are counting down the days to the start of the ‘relajo’, meaning fun with no timetable and no restrictions. There is no age limit to fun.
The Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Carnival is a true reflection of the open, vibrant and tolerant character of the city. The repression of General Franco’s dictatorship did away with celebrations. However, local residents managed to keep them alive in a clandestine way under the guise of ‘Winter Fiestas’. Chronicles of the time talk of dancing and fiestas that participants came to with hidden disguises.
In 1976, the people brought the Carnival back onto the street. Since then, the city has grown two-fold. Firstly, it has consolidated itself as a top tourist attraction in terms of it being one of the leading Carnival events in the world, while also providing the stage for those who spend hours and hours rehearsing their ‘murga’ songs and dance troupe steps, or choosing the best colour for the sequins to be used on their disguises, whose glitter will add a dash of colour to the explosion of light and razzmatazz that is just around the corner.