The prodigal son of Easter Week in Vegueta

Easter Week in Vegueta and other places around Gran Canaria reveals the island’s huge cultural treasures and wonderful heritage.

Everything has its origins. The artist who carved out the majority of the religious figures worshipped during Easter in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria came to the city as a young boy around the middle of the 18th century to study drawing. José Luján Pérez was born in Santa María de Guía at the heart of a family of farmworkers. From a very early age his hands were able to draw and sculpture with amazing skill.

From these prodigious hands multiple religious sculptures came into being, creating one of the finest artistic legacies on the island. At this time of the year, the streets around the historic neighbourhood of Vegueta are transformed into an open air museum thanks to the carrousel of processions and events organized for Holy Week, right on the site of the pebbled streets on which the city was founded over five centuries ago.

San Francisco Church, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Easter Week at Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, and on the island as a whole, opens up a treasure chest to its history, traditions and heritage. It highlights the richness of the island’s culture and the ability of its people to engage their sheer passion for life. Don’t miss out on seeing this great treasure chest, just make your way to the ancient district of Vegueta any day up until 21st April, when Easter Sunday and the Resurrection are celebrated.

The processions go hand in hand with many centuries of art and faith. This year you can witness it for yourself on Easter Thursday with the Silent Procession, which leaves from the Hermitage of the Holy Spirit at midnight, blending in with the magic of the night time illuminations along the streets of Vegueta.

Ermita del Espíritu Santo, Vegueta
Plaza del Espíritu Santo, Vegueta

Easter Week enhances the mystery and charm of Vegueta and invites people in to see the marks left by history, etched into the splendid spiral columns that preside the façade of the Convent of San Francisco de Borja. Even the air seems to have stood still inside Santo Domingo Church and its square. Meanwhile the water at the fountain continues to flow, confirming that the seconds, minutes and hours continue to tick along even though we are hardly aware of it.

Iglesia y Plaza de Santo Domingo, Vegueta, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Also at Easter some traditional age old clothing comes out of the wardrobe, including Canary shawls. Indeed, on Good Friday, at 11.00, it is the turn for the procession of Las Mantillas (the shawls), to take centre stage, emerging from Santa Ana Cathedral, right at the heart of Vegueta, where the solemn Sunday Resurrection Mass is held. It is just one of the many religiously inspired events that can be admired at this time, both at the capital and at many other points around the territory of Gran Canaria.

Procession of Las Mantillas (the shawls), Vegueta
Obispado, Plaza de Santa Ana, Vegueta

At Eastertime in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria the bells ring out in glory, reflecting another clear echo of the cultural tradition in the city, and in this case a truly musical one. The Alfredo Kraus Auditorium, one of the finest bastions of music in Spain, plays host to a range of events, including the Bach International Festival.  So we have Bach, the ocean and Easter all together at the same time. It could only happen here.

Auditorio Alfredo Kraus, Las Canteras

Updated in 2019

Note: The Gran Canaria Tourist Board does not accept responsibility for any modifications, changes or cancellations that may occur in relation to the information presented on this agenda.