In the Canary Islands you live and breathe tradition. In every part of the islands, in every town, in every village, and in every corner you will find something authentic and perhaps unique. Mix with the local people, share with the Canarians their intense enjoyment of their local fiestas and celebrations, and they will be happy to accept you with open arms.
Get dressed up in the local typical costume to take an active part in one of the many popular religious festivals that are held in the islands and... dare to be Canarian for a day!.
Very few places combine tradition with modernity in such a natural way as the Canaries, where you will find these two concepts perfectly matched. Here the local people know how to respect traditions without missing out on more up-to-date celebrations. In this archipelago you will also find religious festivals coexisting alongside pagan celebrations, as the legacy of the post- Spanish Conquest era contrasts with the aboriginal rites.
Religious processions, street celebrations honouring the Virgin in all Her manifestations, special events to celebrate different saints, all-night local dances in the open air to mark important days in the Catholic calendar, pagan rituals inherited from the ancient inhabitants designed to bring rain…These are just some of the lively and participative festivals to be found here. Of course we cannot forget either that the Canaries are home to unique Carnival celebrations, which rival those of Rio de Janeiro or Venice. During Carnival time the streets are full of partying people wearing masks, fancy dress costumes, and everything is bathed in music, light and colour.
A special mention must be made of the Canarian folklore. During your visit you must not miss the local dances and music that are accompanied by original musical instruments from the islands such as the timple, a small guitar with four or five strings, which produces a remarkably surprising and pleasing sound.
But traditions in the Canary Islands do not consist only of fiesta and dancing; there are also the elegant handicrafts, in some cases produced by techniques inherited from the aborigines. You won’t be able to resist taking home a souvenir of the local ceramics, or a piece of beautiful, elaborate embroidery, something carved from the local stone or an example of basketwork, a genuine Canary knife carefully made by hand, or even, perhaps, a piece of fine carpentry to decorate a corner of your home.
In the Canaries, you can also watch and even, if you want, take part in the many games and traditional sports whose origin goes back across the centuries. Perhaps the most famous and most distinctive is the Lucha Canaria, or Canarian Wrestling, a straightforward struggle between two men, which requires a high level of physical strength. Other examples include the Vela Latina, or Canary sailing; Canary bowls; fighting and jumping with staves; plough or stone lifting competitions, or tests of strength of farm animals… among others.