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Punta Mujeres Cultural Attractions and Events - Fiestas

The annual programme of fiestas plays an important part of the Spanish cultural calendar both on mainland Spain and here in the Canary Islands. The first event of the year is always the Arrecife carnival that is celebrated at the beginning of Lent. This is usually a four day long event that includes concerts, all night dancing and of course a colourful procession of floats along the seafront. This is one of the most popular events on Lanzarote and is one that attracts thousands of people to line the streets. Part of the tradition of the carnival is the "Parranda de Los Buches" which sees masked fishermen dressed in traditional costumes, dancing and hitting onlookers with dried fish bladders filled with air. The parade ends with an open air party with bands, a fun fair and numerous trade stalls. One word of advice, this party doesn't usually get started until around midnight and is known to keep going until dawn.

The next event, although primarily a religious celebration, is known as the Day of The Cross and takes place around May 3rd. This is one of the most deeply rooted traditions throughout all of Canaries, and which sees crosses throughout the island being decorated with flowers.

The fiesta of Corpus Christi usually takes place during the first week of June each year, although on occasions, and in keeping with Spanish traditions, it has also been known to be celebrated during the last week of May. A central feature of the annual Corpus Christi Procession is that the streets are always covered, and whilst on the neighbouring islands of Tenerife and Las Palmas this covering is made up of thousands of fresh flowers, Lanzarote however adopt a quite different approach. In the days leading up to Corpus Christi, hundreds of tons of salt are transported into Arrecife from the salt beds around the island. This is then mixed with coloured dyes to create magnificent displays for the morning of the parade. Sadly these displays are very short lived, as the local council then removes all traces of the salt within hours of the parade finishing.

Visitors to Lanzarote towards the end of June are often surprised to find that the Fiesta of San Juan bears a remarkable similarity to Guy Fawkes night, which is widely celebrated almost 5 months later back home in the UK. However in Lanzarote it is on the night between the 23rd - 24th June each year that effigies of a figure known as "El Facundo" are ceremoniously burnt on bonfires throughout the island. As part of the celebrations young men demonstrate their bravery, or stupidity, by either jumping over the flames or attempting to walk barefoot across the embers of the fire. Another less popular tradition relating to the Fiesta San Juan is that of the "first bathe", for prior to this day it was always considered bad luck for the locals to bathe in the sea.

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This website was launched on 1 May 2002

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