The Canary Islands are famous for their spectacular carnivals. The most famous are the lavish parades that can be seen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, or the eccentric drag queens who are the stars of the show in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. But the other islands have carnival traditions that deserve to be recognised, too. Today, we'll be talking about the diabletes (demons) of Teguise, a local festival that you can't miss if you visit Lanzarote.
The first big difference that you'll find is that if you visit the big islands, the carnivals have become international tourist attractions - but in Lanzarote, that's not the case. Here, the carnival still has an intimate, traditional air, ensuring that you'll fall in love at first sight. Teguise is a small town about 15 kilometres from Arrecife and 43 from Playa Blanca, so the best way to get there is in a low cost rental car. You'll be immediately struck by the colonial architecture, which seems to transport you to a different era. Teguise was the capital during the first colonisation of the Canary Islands, so it's no wonder that its architecture is still of historical interest today.
Normally, you'll find a calm town where most people enjoy a quiet, laidback life. But that all goes out the window during carnival season. Dressed up in the traditional demon costumes, people make their way through the streets of the town screaming and giving frights to children. The costumes include a mask that looks like the face of a black bull, complete with enormous horns and a huge red tongue. The outfits are decorated in red and black, and revellers carry traditional accessories as they head through town.
Some people believe that the celebration has its origins in the Americas, and that immigrants brought this unusual costume to the Canary Islands. However, others maintain that the demon tradition is a mixture of the beliefs of native Canarians and the Spanish who colonised them, as it has much in common with similar festivities in some African villages.
No matter what the truth is, we can be sure that if you come to Lanzarote in February, you can't miss out on this bizarre festival. Remember to reserve your low cost rental car in Lanzarote airport so that you can relax and enjoy this unique celebration. At Payless we'll be happy to help you celebrate an unforgettable carnival!