Every July the village of Arguineguin in the south west of Gran Canaria celebrates the Fiestas del Carmen. There are plenty of activities to join in with such as the huge water fight parade through the streets known as Bajada de la Rama or the free outdoor concerts.
The opening night kicks off with the Gala Queen election and late night party with DJ’s and outdoor entertainment.
Saturday 9th 2016 – 19:00h (Avenida del Muelle)
The whole event is something to check out, but make sure you don’t miss the Romería of Arguineguin, in which locals dress up in traditional Canarian clothing, old and young. You will feel like you have been transported back in time, as carts are brought through the streets with fruits, potatoes and offerings for Virgen del Carmen much like a harvest festival.
Fiesta del Agua
Sunday 10th July 2016 – 15:00h
In recent years a new event has been added to the Fiestas del Carmen program. The Fiesta del Agua is a free daytime outdoor disco held in the market square of Arguineguin. Live DJ’s and dance music attract 100’s of people from all over the island. This is usually held the day after the Romeria.
Bajada de la Rama
Friday 15th July 2016 – 18:30h (Starts at Pino Seco)
Imagine a water fight then multiply it by 1000 and add music. Bajada de la Rama (the taking down of the leaves) is one of the most anticipated events of the Summer in Arguineguin, with what seems like the whole of the village dressed in their beach wear parading through the streets with water guns and dancing to the music of Banda Gran Canaria.
You really won’t believe how many people participate in this event which starts at Plaza de Pino Seco and heads down the main street of Francisco Navarro and through the village to the beach.
Head to the square for outdoor entertainment usually on a large stage and dine ‘al fresco’ at the ‘Chiringuitos’ where you can enjoy some delicious Canarian foods, grills and drinks.
Tip: Prepare to get wet even if you are just watching! Later on in the evening, when all the water guns are put away, get yourself to the market square and nearby for a party, it’s the last night of the fiestas and it goes out with a bang! Don’t miss the fireworks at midnight!
Fiestas del Carmen Arguingeguin Boat Procession
Sunday 17th July 2016 – 10:30h
Head to the harbour for the maritime procession as the statue of Virgen del Carmen is lifted up onto a fishing boat and leads the way to Puerto de Mogan. You can see this from most of Mogán coastline from Arguineguin to Pto. de Mogan. There will be a lot of traffic out at sea this day.
You can choose to pay and go on one of the boats, many of them offering a party atmosphere as they follow the main boat containing the statue. This is always great to watch from the harbour or even high up from a balcony, you can often get some great photographs of the many boats that will cross the Mogán coastline.
Many people watch this procession every year, as ‘Carmen’ sails along the Mogan coastline, bringing protection to the fishermen and villages along the way.
Take a look at the video I filmed from Patalavaca as the boats sailed past Anfi del Mar.
Tip: Don’t worry if you miss it the first time, there is a procession on the Sunday the week after, when the boats sail from Puerto de Mogán back to Arguineguin.
If you are on holiday in Puerto Rico or surrounding areas during this fiesta, then I urge you to go and take a look and experience some Canarian culture. If you enjoy boats and just people watching, you can head down to the small restaurants and bars by the beach and harbour.
What are you most looking forward to in the Fiestas del Carmen?
One of my favourite parts is the smell of all the grills in the market square and the open air concert.