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The Maspalomas Carnival in Gran Canaria

The Maspalomas Carnival is one of the most vibrant and colorful events held annually in Gran Canaria, a beautiful island located off the coast of Africa. This festival, which attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world, is celebrated in the town of Maspalomas and is known for its stunning parades, lively music, and extravagant costumes.

The carnival usually takes place in February, and it marks the beginning of the Lenten season. The origins of this festival date back to the 18th century when it was first introduced by the Spanish conquerors who brought their own traditions to the island. Over the years, the carnival has evolved into a unique and fascinating blend of local culture and international influences, making it a must-see event for anyone visiting Gran Canaria.

The Maspalomas Carnival lasts for over a week and includes a series of events such as the Drag Queen Contest, the Gala Queen Contest, and various parades. The Drag Queen Contest, which is held on the first Friday of the carnival, is one of the most popular events and attracts a large crowd of locals and tourists alike. It is a showcase of fabulous costumes, flamboyant makeup, and incredible performances that celebrate diversity and inclusivity.

The Gala Queen Contest is another highlight of the Maspalomas Carnival. It is a beauty pageant that takes place on the second Friday of the festival and sees contestants from various towns on the island competing for the title of the carnival queen. The gala is a grand affair that features stunning costumes, live music, and a lot of dancing.

One of the most exciting aspects of the Maspalomas Carnival is the parades that take place on the streets of the town. The parades are a magnificent display of color, music, and dance, and feature performers dressed in elaborate costumes that represent different themes such as history, culture, and nature. The most important parades are the Opening Parade, the Carnival Parade, and the Burial of the Sardine Parade.

The Opening Parade marks the start of the carnival and is held on the first Saturday of the festival. It is a colorful procession that features various groups and associations from the town of Maspalomas. The Carnival Parade, on the other hand, is the main event of the carnival and takes place on the second Saturday of the festival. It is a massive parade that features participants from all over the island, and it is a true celebration of diversity and creativity.

The Burial of the Sardine Parade is the final event of the carnival and marks the end of the festival. It is a symbolic procession that represents the end of the revelry and the beginning of the Lenten season. During the parade, a giant sardine is carried through the streets and is eventually burned, symbolizing the end of the carnival.

In conclusion, the Maspalomas Carnival is a magnificent celebration of color and culture that showcases the best of Gran Canaria. It is a festival that is deeply rooted in the island's history and traditions and is a testament to the spirit of the local people. Whether you're a visitor or a resident of the island, the Maspalomas Carnival is an event that should not be missed.

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