Direct Holidays

Direct Holidays

April 13, 2012 04:00 ET

Carnival Time in the Canaries-How This Country Celebrates Its Winter Sun

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - April 13, 2012) - Shivering carnival queens and soggy floats may sum up some of the winter festivals that you've been to in the UK, so for a change why not join Canary Islanders during their party season.

Outdoor celebrations are a totally different experience on the islands where the party atmosphere continues right through the seasons. With annual averages of 22 degrees Celsius and boasting 3,000 hours of sunlight a year, it's not surprising that islanders hold lots of festivals at a time when Brits at home are wrapping up and looking into cheap holidays abroad.

Go fly a kite and pet a donkey

The warm windswept beaches in Fuerteventura are hotspots for fans of water sports who like to harness the breeze to go sailing and surfing, among many other activities. But every year in November the blue skies fill with a medley of floating shapes as locals and holidaymakers get involved with the International Kite Festival. Dogs, cats, stars and lots of other designs have been spotted flying over Dunas de Corralejo Natural Park. Later in the year in February, Tenerife hosts a festival based on a myth that witches are transformed into donkeys during nightfall. Held in the Plaza de San Pedro Arriba the Donkeys of Guimar festival is focused on having fun, with a slightly spooky edge, which brings a unique element to Tenerife holidays.

Dancing in the streets

For an explosion of music, flamboyant costumes and traditional Spanish Zarzuela then Arrecife Carnival in Lanzarote fits the bill. The February festival is pure celebration and sees people dance to Latin tunes all through the night. Each year there are different themes to follow, so don't forget to pack your dressing up gear if you're looking into Lanzarote holidays. The San Andreas festival in Tenerife also spills out on to the streets in November when the doors' of winemakers cellars are opened to the public and dancers perform traditional displays to the beat of lively music.

As well as flamboyant, colourful street events, the Canaries also host an annual classical music festival which its organisers promote in order to show the mix of creative talent from the area. A lot of the events that make up the Canary Islands Music Festival take place on Gran Canaria. Performances feature world class musicians doing recitals and shows throughout January and February - making festivals during Gran Canaria holidays much more weather-friendly than those scheduled in the UK at this time of year.

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