Celebrate Día de Canarias: the Day of the Canary Islands!

Celebrate Día de Canarias: the Day of the Canary Islands!

27 May 2024

On the 30th of May, the Canary Islands burst into life celebrating the Day of the Canary Islands. This day holds far greater significance than a mere holiday; it is a celebration of the history and cultural heritage of the archipelago. TopCar would like to extend our warmest greetings to all the Canarians on this special occasion. We would also like to invite you to explore the unique identity and traditions of the Canary Islands and its people. 

What is the Canary Islands day

This special date commemorates the first session of the Canary Islands Parliament on May 30th, 1983, a historic event that marked a significant step towards the islands' regional autonomy. Since then, this day has evolved into a vibrant celebration of Canarian history and culture, filled with music, traditional dances, and exquisite local cuisine.

Events held on Día de Canarias

Music and Culture

The Canary Islands day is known for its rich folklore display. The streets come alive with the sounds of the timple (similar to a ukelele), chácaras (a larger type of castanets), the drum or the pito herreño (a traditional flute), while cultural groups perform traditional songs and dances such as the isa and folías. Livening up the festivities even more are the parrandas, which are spontaneous musical gatherings where traditional instruments are played and songs are sung, further spreading the joy of the celebration.

Close-up of Canarian man playing a traditional timple

Sports and Traditions

Traditional sports and games are also part of the day's events, with activities such as Lucha Canaria (Canarian wrestling) competitions, exhibitions of salto del pastor (Shepherd's leap), Canarian stick fencing, and Canarian bola (a traditional Canarian ball game). Many of these practices trace their roots back to the islands' rural and pastoral activities, reflecting the Canary Islands’ strong connection to agriculture and livestock farming.

Local Gastronomy

Besides cultural and sporting events, food festivals or competitions are organised in the main squares and streets of many towns. These events offer typical dishes from all over the archipelago, such as papas arrugadas with mojo (wrinkled potatoes with Canarian mojo sauce), escaldón (toasted grain flour mixed with broth), or pella de gofio (toasted grain flour with dry fruits), as well as specialities from each island, such as chorizo de Teror, a characteristic product of Gran Canaria. This celebration attracts not only residents but also tourists, offering a unique opportunity to get to know and experience the local culture.

Canary Islands Traditional Attire

Another very colourful and representative element of this day is the traditional Canarian attire, steeped in history. These outfits are not only worn on the 30th of May but are also an essential part of other Canarian festivities such as the romerías (folk festival) and the bailes de magos (traditional street parties and dances), where each island exhibits variants of the traditional clothing that highlight their specific identity. It is a symbol of pride and belonging that plays an important role in the celebration and preservation of Canarian culture.

For men, the outfit generally consists of trousers, a shirt and a waistcoat, accompanied by a typical hat. Women, on the other hand, wear wide skirts and embroidered blouses, often complemented by a scarf, a hat on the head and typical jewellery. 

Man and woman dressed in traditional Canarian clothing

Recommendations to enjoy the Day of the Canary Islands

If you're lucky enough to be visiting the islands on the 30th of May and want to take home a strong and authentic memory of Canarian culture, here are some practical tips to make your trip an unforgettable experience:

  • Check the local programme: Check the calendar of events for the town you're in. The main cities and towns in the Canary Islands organise a variety of activities, from parades to concerts and traditional dances.
  • Dress appropriately: Join in the festive spirit by wearing comfortable clothing and, if you're feeling adventurous, get even more involved by buying or renting a traditional Canarian outfit. This will not only enrich your experience but also allow you to live the celebration like a local.
  • Sample local gastronomy: Don't miss the opportunity to try typical Canarian dishes at the markets and food festivals. Papas arrugadas con mojo, local wine, and grilled cheese are must-tries.
  • Participate in Canarian traditions: Learning the meaning behind the customs will give you a deeper perspective and appreciation for Canarian culture and identity.
  • Attend cultural events: Take advantage of the many cultural events that are organised, from concerts to exhibitions of local crafts. This is the best way to understand Canarian history and its influence on the present.

A group of people in traditional Canarian costumes dance traditional dances

Make the most of Día de Canarias

As a proud Canarian company, TopCar wants you to discover the true essence of Día de Canarias and experience first-hand every detail of this cultural celebration. This 30th of May, trace your route through the traditions and festivities of each island in the most comfortable way possible with one of our rental cars.

Embark on a journey filled with miles of experiences with us and make this Día de Canarias an unforgettable one!