La Graciosa events
Nuestra Senora del Carmen (Festivity of the Virgen del Carmen)
When: on and around July 16th
Description: Festivity of the Virgen del Carmen is another popular religious event celebrated virtually by all coastal communities of Spain to honour and worship Virgin of Carmen - the patron saint of all fishermen. In Canaries the celebration events usually begin in early July and feature many traditional activities, such as lucha canaria (Canarian wrestling), concerts, open-air parties, fairs and folklore performances.
La Graciosa is known for exceptional and particularly breathtaking program of events throughout the second half of the month of July. The island draws people from Lanzarote and further, buzzing with non-stop festivities, plays and beach parties. The sea procession of the Virgen del Carmen is the central event to this festival when the second largest boat procession, after Puerto del Carmen in Lanzarote, takes place on La Graciosa. The boats are colorfully decorated and an image of the Virgin is carried in a boat along the coast. The local fishermen make offerings to the Virgin praying for a good catch in the year to come. This is a great time to visit the beautiful local church, Parroqia Virgen del Mar.
La Graciosa el Rio Swim (the annual swim from Lanzarote to La Graciosa)
When: September/October (the date for year 2013 is set to 28th September)
Description: El Río Swim is an annual open swim from Lanzarote to the island of La Graciosa, which has become one of the most popular sporting events in the Canary Islands. It draws not only professional swimmers from Canarian sporting clubs but also anyone who simply enjoys swimming in open water. The registration for the swim starts in May and places are limited to 700. The swim is exceptionally well organized and monitored by kayaks and small boats in the water and a helicopter in the air.
The preparation for swim starts in Caleta del Sebo in La Graciosa. Participants are then taken by boat to the beach Playa Bajo el Risco in Lanzarote. From there they swim back (over 2600 metres) to La Graciosa harbour where they are welcomed by thousands of spectators. It takes approximately one hour to complete the route. The afternoon continues with a party atmosphere where drinks and a meal of Paella is served followed by the trophy awards ceremony.
Carnival (Carnaval, Carnivale)
When: end of February/beginning of March (depending on the dates of Easter)
Description: Carnival is a deeply rooted festive season which occurs immediately before Lent; the main events are usually during February. The festive traditionally involves a public celebration or parade combining elements of a circus, bright costumes, body paint, masks and public street party.It is a great time to visit Lanzarote and La Graciosa to relax, party and have fun. Sounds of salsa, batucada drums, tambourines, bells and whistles can be heard in the distance as they move down the streets. Carnival is about disguise, everyone is in costume so join in, the bolder and more colourful the better. There are many concerts and other open-air events before and after the main procession and the beach parties last all night long.