Updated 29 May: Just a reminder of this major public holiday tomorrow, the Día de Canarias. From today and over the weekend too there will be traditional dances (Bailes de magos) in many towns and villages, and of course most offices and many shops outside the main tourist areas will be closed tomorrow itself.

Original post 14 May: A couple of weeks still to go but Thursday 30 May is Día de Canarias, Canarian Day, a Canaries-wide public holiday in celebration of the anniversary of the first official Parliamentary session of the islands on 30 May 1983, some 10 months after the Canaries became an autonomous region of Spain in August 1982. Apart from the formal and official events that are always held, with many shops and offices closed, the day is celebrated throughout the islands with a wide range of cultural events and festivities, not just on the 30th itself but several days either side, particularly over the nearest weekend. And the celebrations in most towns, moreover, will include a Baile de Magos.

The Baile de Magos is a traditional costume dance which is a celebration of all that is Canarian, and Clio O’Flynn gives a good overview of the cultural importance of the day in a previous year’s Adeje English Time blog HERE. Adeje’s councillor for culture Nayra Medina Bethencourt says that in a multi-cultural town such as Adeje “it’s also important to remember our roots and traditions and on dates such as the ones we’re celebrating this week we can emphasise the Canarian part of our heritage and show that side of our culture to those who have recently arrived to live here, so that they too may know some of our traditions but also, importantly become involved in the cultural life of Adeje and share the fiestas with us”.

Bethencourt makes an important point because with its traditional costumes and family groups clustered together, the Baile de Magos could seem to be “reserved” in some way for Canarians. But these events do anything but exclude, and “foreigners” are welcomed with open arms since our participation demonstrates a desire to integrate. The dance is free, but those taking part must wear traditional Canarian costumes as in the photo above. Tables can be reserved for the dinner part of the dance, but attendees are expected to take their own food.

The Día de Canarias is the last island-wide bank holiday now until Asunción de la Virgen/Assumption on 15 August, though there will be some mid-summer municipal bank holidays throughout the summer; there’s a link to them all – municipal, insular and regional – HERE.

Source: Janet Anscombe

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