The fiesta calendar of La Gomera is colourful and diverse. Christian, national and local holidays, along with traditional spectacles and harvest celebrations make up the annual cycle. Don’t miss out on taking part in one of the island’s many fiestas!
All Gomeros show a considerable amount of stamina at the night time parties. A fiesta seldom gets into full swing before midnight.
01. January: Ano Nuevo – New Year’s
06. January: Los Reyes Magos – Epiphany
National Holiday. On the Canary Islands, just like in the whole of Spain, Christmas gifts are exchanged on the 6th of January as part of Epiphany.
The night before, on the fifth of January, men dressed as the Three Kings throw candy to the children on the streets of Valle Gran Rey.
February/ March: Fiesta de Carnaval – Carnival
Carnival on La Gomera is celebrated to the beat of hot samba and salsa rhythms. Even if it’s not quite as spectacular as on the neighbouring islands of La Palma and Tenerife, Carnival activities on La Gomera last for many weeks. The „burial of the sardine“ symbolises the end of the festivities.
In the Semana Santa, the week before Easter, pagan and religious holidays merge together. During Holy Week, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday are bank holidays, Easter Monday however, is not.
24. April: Fiesta de San Marcos
Fiesta de San Marcos is a spectacular festival in Agulo, in honour of its patron saint. It has a very varied program of events. The climax of the evening comes in the form of young men who leap through the flames of numerous bonfires as a test of bravery.
01. May: Dia del Trabajo – Labour day
National holiday with political rallies.
03. May: Fiesta de la Cruz – Day of the Cross
On the Day of the Cross, you will see decorated crucifixes and bouquets of flowers in the form of a cross.
15. May: Fiesta de San Isidro
Festivals in honour of the patron saint of farmers are held at the Chorros de Epina and in Alegaro.
30. May: Dia de las Islas Canarias – Day of the Canary Islands
An important holiday celebrating Canarios with many events.
End of May: Fiesta de Corpus Christi – Corpus Christi
Many processions are held on the occasion of this Christian holiday.
24. June: Fiesta San Juan – Festival of Saint John, Summer Solstice
The festival of Saint John- the celebration of the Summer Solstice is celebrated on La Gomera.
Even the ancient inhabitants of the island lit fires to thank the Gods for their harvest and to scare away evil. The day is celebrated with a mixture of Christian and Pagan traditions. To begin with, a procession in memory of Saint John is held. Later in the evening, bonfires are lit throughout.
16. July: Fiesta del Carmen
The patron saint of fishermen, Nuestra Senora del Carmen, is remembered in many harbour villages on the island. The largest celebrations on La Gomera are held in Valle Gran Rey, Playa Santiago, San Sebastian and Vallehermoso.
During the festivities, the statue of Madonna is honoured by a visit to church, in processions and afterwards on joint boat tours.
End of July: Fiesta de la Virgen del Pino
The Madonna figure of the Virgin of the Pines is honoured in El Cercado
05. August: Fiesta de la Virgen de las Nieves
Festival in honour of the patron saint of La Dama.
15. August: Fiesta de la Candelaria – Assumption
Large, traditional island fiesta, to honour the patron saints, which attracts people from all over the island. After a celebratory procession, an exuberant fiesta begins, with dancing to the sounds of local music, into the early morning hours.
11. September: Fiesta Nuestra Senora del Buen Paso
Festival to honour the saints with the longest procession on the island, ending in Alajero.
24. September: Fiesta de la Mercedes
In Agulo , the patron saint of the town is commemorated
in October: Bajada de la Virgen – the most important island fiesta
The most important of the island’s festivals is celebrated throughout the entire island every 5 years (the next time will be 2008), to honour the Virgin des Las Guadalupe.
The Madonna figure is carried from her chapel to every community on the island, in processions which take place over a period of weeks. The streets are decorated magnificently, fiestas and masses are an indispensable part of the Bajada de la Virgen.
The festivities attract young and old alike. And even those who no longer live on the island try to return to celebrate events with family and friends. Afterwards, the virgin is carried back to her chapel, to watch over the pain, fears and wishes of the Gomeros for another 5 years.
12. October: Dia de la Hispanidad – „Discovery“ of America
National Holiday commemorating the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus.
Mid-October: Fiesta de la Virgen de las Nieves
Festival to honour the saints in the church of pilgrimage.
31. October: Fiesta de los Cochinos
Festival in Alojera.
01. November: Todos los Santos – All Saint’s day
30. November: Fiesta de San Andres
Time to sample the young wine, together with family and friends, especially in the north of the island.
in December: Adviento – Advent
Groups of local musicians go from house to house and sing Villancinos (Christmas carols).
06. December: Dia de la Constitucion – Day of the constitution
The day is celebrated as the day the Spanish Constitution was ratified by the people in a referendum in 1978.
08. December: Inmaculada Concepcion
National holiday with processions.
24. December: Noche Buena – Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve is celebrated with a family dinner, followed by midnight mass.
25. December: Navidad – Christmas Day
31. December: Noche Vieja – New Year’s Eve
All over the island, New Year’s Eve is celebrated in formal attire. As soon as the bells ring, the Gomeros eat one grape for every chime of the bell, to ensure good luck for the coming year.