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The Canary Guide “Reyes Magos” Weekend Tips 3-5 January 2020
A lovely long weekend ahead as the holiday season draws to a close here on Gran Canaria. Monday is officially a national bank holiday; Twelfth night is almost upon us, the Epiphany, preceded by the Noche del Reyes Magos, or night of the kings, the spectacular finale of the holiday season, when 3 wise men are expected to visit every home in the kingdom, in celebration of a newly born child. REYES MAGOS– THE THREE WISE MEN / THE THREE KINGS. This is the most magical time of the year for kids in the Canary Islands and throughout all Spain. The long observed traditions here supersede those of more northern European, christianised, pagan Yuletime legends, many of which tell of a benevolent, sometimes mischievous and goaty, old man secretly delivering gifts and toys to good little children on Christmas eve, or indeed the roman catholic stories of the originally Turkish-born Saint Nicholas, who nowadays morphs into a red robed and chuckling Santa Claus character flying from Lapland on his reindeer drawn sleigh. By far the more prominently celebrated story of Los Reyes Magos, known in English as the Three Wise Men or Three Kings, tells of strangers arriving from the east, following a star, who bring gifts for a newborn, and as luck would have it magically supply gifts to all good christians, and children too, on the Day of the Epiphany, which is of course the 12th night, or the eve of the 6th day of January. This is when Melchor, Gaspar and Baltazar bring their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. They arrive to Street Parades in every major town as they are celebrated across Gran Canaria on the 5th, the Noche de Los Reyes Magos. Most towns and cities throughout Spain, and across the island, will be hosting extravagant events and parades on Sunday, aimed mainly at the littlest in the family, to welcome these strangers from far off lands, who will arrive from the east via every imaginable mode of transport, whether on traditional camel, speed boat, parachute, helicopter, horseback or jet ski, they will be presented with a magical key by the local mayor so that they can let themselves into each of the townspeople’s homes to leave them something special. Two of the biggest and most magical parades on Gran Canaria occur in the capital and up in the beautiful eastern town of Agüimes. Traditional seasonal and artisanal markets can be found in many major towns across the island in the run up to the main seasonal gift-giving day, between 2-5 January 2020. 2-5 JANUARY, LAS PALMAS 25ª FERIA DE ARTISANÍA The 25th Artisans’ Market in Parque de San Telmo in the capital, Las Palmas by the traditional Canarian crafts federation FEDAC. Opening hours are every day between 10:00-21:00. 2-5 JANUARY, TELDE FERIA DE REYES “Feria de Reyes”, The Kings’ Fair in the heart of Telde. The Fair is held in the open commercial area ZCA SAN GREGORIO, surrounding the plaza de San Gregorio and Avenida de la Constitución. An event full of music, acrobatics, jugglers and children’s workshops at which 21 artisans will have stands exhibiting their work for sale from January 2 to 5. On Thursday 16:00 – 21:30, on Friday and Saturday 10:00-21:30 and on Sunday 10:00-13:00. 3-5 JANUARY, Vecindario (SANTA LUCÍA) FERIA DE NAVIDAD The Vecindario Christmas fair has its final weekend at Plaza de San Rafael, in the municipality Santa Lucia. Traditional crafts, cosmetics, jewellery, textiles, accessories and recycled products are all on offer on the main shopping street of this buzzing south-eastern town. From 10:00 to 21:00 (excluding holidays). The fair is open on January 5, from 10:00 until the closing of the shops. 3-5 JANUARY, LAS PALMAS SAND NATIVITY / BELEN DE ARENA – LAS CANTERAS This weekend is the last chance to visit one of the main seasonal attractions that has positioned the capital, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, as one of the world’s most charming cities to visit at Christmas time: the Belen de Arena de Las Canteras has become an entire event in its own right, with unique sand sculptures visited every year by thousands of locals … and an growing number of travellers who visit the capital of Gran Canaria at this time of year. The sand sculptures will be open until January 5 (09:00-20:00) other days from 09:00-22:00 and are free to visit, though charitable donations are encouraged. 3-5 JANUARY, MOGÁN NAVIDAD EN MOGÁN As part of the Town hall’s seasonal program there is a lovely weekend of activities happening in the neighbourhoods of the municipality. On Friday in Playa de Mogán, a street parade for children at 17:30 leaving from Avenida Los Marreros (shopping centre). At 18:30 at Plaza Pedro Betancor León children’s animation activities where visiting children can hand over their letters and lists to a Royal page, for delivery to the kings. On Saturday in Mogán Casco, the old town, children’s animation activities and a visit of the Royal Page to Parque Nicolás Quesada at 18:00. On Sunday in Arguineguín, “Fair of Kings” at Plaza Pérez Galdós between 17:00-21:00 with crafts, gastronomy and a market. At 18:30 a boat carrying their Majesties, The Magi from the East, will arrive at Arguineguín port. They will then tour via Avenida de las Marañuelas to Plaza Pérez Galdós, with a parade and live music and animation. Upon arrival, the municipality’s magic key will be presented to Their Majesties, and the last of the letters will be collected. 4 – 5 JANUARY, MASPALOMAS NAVIDAD EN MASPALOMAS. The holiday season program continues in various enclaves of the municipality of San Bartolomé de Tirajana On Saturday, a night to be enjoyed in the little coastal neighborhood of El Pajar. From 17:00 there is a market and workshops for children at Plaza Pública de El Pajar and at 22:00 Gran Verbena, evening street party with Paco Guedes. On Sunday, Maspalomas celebrates the arrival of the Kings with a parade at 18:00. Parade route : Departure from the Centro Socio-Cultural del Mayor via Avenida de Mogán to the roundabout of the municipal pool. Avda de Tunte to the roundabout of Avenida de Gáldar to calle Camellero Hernández García (in front of the Eurospar) and then via Avenida de Tejeda until reaching Parque de San Fernando. SUNDAY 5 JANUARY, LAS PALMAS REYES MAGOS LAS PALMAS The welcome party begins at 11:00 on the esplanade walkway next to the Poema del Mar Aquarium with the arrival of the three wise men to the Sanapú pier scheduled for 12:00 midday. The three kings and their entourage will disembark and meet all the children and families who gather to welcome them, as well as the mayor, Augusto Hidalgo, who will deliver the “Magic Key to the City” and there will be entertainment and activities. The Three Kings Parade. starts at 17:00 from Castillo de la Luz heading through the city to Parque de San Telmo. Melchor, Gaspar and Baltazar will climb on to moving platforms decorated with striking star-shaped light boxes, which premiered in 2019, to illuminate the route that will take them from the port fortress to San Telmo park and to share messages of solidarity for the conservation of the planet. Accompanied by a legion of Romans, the royal pages, their entourage and favorites, Melchor will ride on a golden star, Gaspar on one of silver and Baltasar on the star of bronze, all illuminated. The three kings will be followed by their camels, who for the second time, will travel the city without being ridden by people or carrying cargo, as once was the way. Public opinion has dissuaded any inclusion of animals that could be deemed harmful, so instead they will simply partake in the parade unburdened. At 22:30 there will be a concert by “Non Trubada” at Parque de San Telmo. And a Night of The Kings event all along the main shopping street of Triana. SUNDAY 5 JANUARY, AGÜIMES AGÜIMES 2020: 65TH LIVE REYES DE MAGOS PERFORMANCE: COLEGIO NUESTRA SEÑORA DEL ROSARIO Since 1956, the “Magna Cabalgata de Reyes”, an outdoor theatrical performance, has been held in Agüimes. The script for this staging emerged from the inkwell of Orlando Hernández Martín, a “whole and serious” figure of Canarian literature, born in this town in 1936. After almost sixty years, that “Magna Cabalgata”, was renamed Auto de Los Reyes Magos on June 6, 2009, and is performed every year through the streets of this beautiful old, historic town. The royal procession departs from the gardens of the Colegio Nuestra Señora del Rosario to tour various stages arranged in different parts of the old town. At 20:00 the Royal Entourage departs from the gardens of the Colegio Nuestra Señora del Rosario, beginning a traditional tour of five stages scattered throughout the town, until they reach the Plaza Nuestra Señora del Rosario by the main church in the old quarter. The act ends around 23:00 following the adoration of the “Child” in the manger. Then the kings, preceded by the entourage, retire to rest for a while, leaving behind a huge trail of goodies to the delight of the children who follow them intently throughout. The first scene, the annunciation is performed at the Parque los Moros. The second scene, is a meeting with the sheppards on Calle Juan Alvarado y Saz. This is followed by a visit to Herod’s Palace, just down the road, at El Ejido The fourth scene depicts the appearance of the Angel on Carretera Esquina And the fifth and final scene, is the nativity scene at the Plaza Nuestra Señora del Rosario. OTHER THREE KINGS PARADES SANTA LUCIA; Kings parade at 18:30 from Cruce de Sardina to theatro Victor Java. Concert at 21:30 by music group ‘Karma’ at 21:30 at Plaza de Los Algodoneros. Animation for children from 17:30-19:30 on the pedestrian area of avenida de Canarias. TELDE; Activities for children 10:00-12:30 at the municipal stadium Pablo Hérnandez Morales. Arrival of the majesties at 13:00 At 17:30 the parade starts at Casa de la Juventud to Parque Franchy SANTA BRIGIDA; the arrival of Their Majesties The Magi from the East into Santa Brígida. a parade with Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar starting at 18:00 and through the streets of the town centre to bring the spectacle of the most special day of the year for the little ones. GÁLDAR: The Kings parade 17:00-18:30 from Cañada Honda neighborhood and streets of the historic center. The traditional Auto de los Reyes Magos from 19:00 – 20:00 at Plaza de Santiago. You can be sure there will be plenty of others going on all around the island FollowFollowFollowFollow The Canary Guide. Advertise your business to English Speakers on Gran Canaria. 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