You’ll cry over a sardine

The Maspalomas International Carnival, the sunniest in Europe, will provide a crazily happy time on the ocean’s edge.

Don’t worry. Your eyes and your head aren’t deceiving you. At this time of year it is quite normal to see some extremely fun-filled and strange goings on at the south of Gran Canaria. For example, you might see a group of people crying around a giant sardine that they are dragging along the shore. This is what goes on at the Maspalomas International Carnival, this year dedicated to the millions of European tourists who make their dreams come true at this holiday paradise.

The most important thing you need to know is that you are the star. Oh yes, you and the gigantic sardine… Precisely, on 10th March, is Tourist Day, sandwiched into the Carnival’s wild programme. The Sardine and its colourful entourage of mournful revellers will be setting off from the Charca de Maspalomas to the rythms of the drumming groups and dance troupes, and will make their way along the shore as far as Playa del Inglés, where they will party on to the music.

Maspalomas beach, Gran Canaria
Maspalomas Carnival. Picture by Carnaval Internacional de Maspalomas

Treat yourself to a dip in the Atlantic. Have something to eat, and build your strength up. And get yourself some fancy dress, because the fiesta goes on into the night with the Tourist Gala on the stage at the Yumbo Shopping Centre, where the dancing troupes will be parading and local artists performing, prior to the Gran Mogollón party which kicks off at eleven o’clock in the evening. Mogollón means you won’t stop dancing.

This happy madness will continue on Saturday 11th March from five o’clock onwards with the packed out Great South Parade, and imaginative parade that runs for miles. It will look like a kind of mirage, but it isn’t. It is the sunniest Carnival in Europe. At ten o’clock in the evening another Mogollón kicks off at the stage of the Yumbo Shopping Centre to test your stamina and sense of fun.

"Playa del Inglés", Gran Canaria

Sunday 12th March signals the last day of the 2017 Maspalomas International Eurocarnaval, this temporary yet highly contagious collective desease that causes symptoms such as permanent giggles and fun. It moves on to the golden sands of Maspalomas and its Beach Carnival. From 14.00 onwards, DJs Óscar Martínez and Dani Moreno ‘El Gallo’ plus musician and producer Carlos Jean, one of Europe’s top dance music genies, will have thousands of people dancing around the ocean’s edge.

A concert at "Playa del Inglés". Maspalomas Carnival. Picture by Carnaval Internacional de MaspalomasGran Canaria. Fotografía de Carnaval Internacional de Maspalomas

All stories have an ending. This is also true of the sardines, however outsized and magical they might seem. At 8 o’clock in the evening, as night comes alive, the Sardine will be set alight, the one that you thought was causing you visions. You will miss it, and understand why people cry over it.