Carnival is Lanzarote’s biggest party – five weekends of fantasy and colour, rhythm and noise, stretching from the unspoilt isle of La Graciosa to balmy Playa Blanca. Here’s the carnival dates for the main parades in 2024 and what you can expect from each one.
While British households celebrate Shrove Tuesday with a pancake, much of the rest of the world is getting dressed up and hitting the streets until the small hours for one of the biggest parties of the year.
Lanzarote’s no exception, and carnival season is one of the most popular times of year. At every carnival parade you’ll see the singing groups called murgas; the dancing groups known as comparsas; the thunderous drum squadrons called batucadas and much, much more.
The parades are only the tip of the iceberg, and there will also be frantic activity and rehearsals all over the island as the various towns work up to their carnival.
You’re invited to join in as well, of course. It’s not compulsory to dress up, and you certainly don’t have to follow the suggested theme for each parade, but those who don’t dress the part are definitely onlookers rather than participants.
This year’s carnival calendar is a little earlier than usual, and February can be one of the coolest months on Lanzarote, so make sure your carnival costume isn’t too skimpy and dress warmly.
Whether you’re a newcomer to Carnival or not, sort out your costume, choose a parade, plan your transport and have the time of your life!
CARNIVAL DATES 2024
All parades, apart from San Bartolomé’s, gather at around 5pm and set off at 6 or 6.30.
Arrecife – 12th February: Grand Parade.
The main parade will still depart from the sports stadium near the bus station, but instead of travelling towards the Cabildo and Playa Reducto, it will move in the other direction, past the new Open Mall and ending at the Agramar buildings at Puerto Naos. The theme for this year’s parade is the Wild West.
San Bartolomé, 13h February: Grand Parade.
Much smaller and more intimate than the Arrecife parade, San Bartolomé’s family carnival takes place at 12 pm, leaving from the Museo Tanit.
Arrecife, 14th February: Burial of the Sardine.
Arrecife’s carnival ends with this surreal and crazy funeral procession for a giant model of a sardine, which is paraded along the city’s seafront from the Ayuntamiento building before being ritually cremated on Reducto beach.
Playa Honda – 16th February: Burial of the Guachinango.
Playa Honda’s lively parade starts at the Plaza Santa Elena and goes via C/San Borondón to C/Princesa ico. It culminates with the burning of a large red snapper, or guachinango.
Puerto del Carmen, 17th February: Grand Parade.
A leap year special for what is easily the most popular tourist parade of the carnival. The theme for this year’s parade is Cartoons, and as usual it will start at Barcarola Apartments and end at Fariones.
Haria, 24th February: Grand Parade.
Haria gets a weekend to itself this year. All the more reason to visit this unique and charming carnival. It leaves from the cemetery car park and ends up in the treelined main square.
Costa Teguise, 2nd March: Grand Parade.
Costa Teguise’s parade travels uphill from Sands Beach to the Pueblo Marinero and is always an intense and thrilling affair. This year’s theme is A Venetian Masked Ball in Teguise.
Tinajo, 9th March: Grand Parade
The theme for Tinajo’s parade is The ’60s.
Playa Blanca, 9th March: Grand Parade.
The last of the big resorts to parade, Playa Blanca’s carnival starts at Playa Flamingo and proceeds to the Plaza de Nuestra Señora de Carmen. The theme is The Animal World.
La Graciosa, 16th March: Grand Parade.
On an island with no streets to parade down there are no floats, and the parade takes place on the beach. Unique and unforgettable, it also brings an end to Lanzarote’s carnival season.