May, last weekend - Las Cruces de La Laguna, Barlovento. Live music and dancing with kiosk bars and food.
June - Corpus Christi, Mazo. Every year, the steep cobbled streets of Mazo are carpeted with intricate decorations of flowers, seeds and seeds and with archways covered in shrubbery and flowers. Inaugurated in 1873, the festival has declared a Fiesta of National Interest.
12/13th June or nearest weekend - Fiesta of San Antonio, Garafia. One of the largest fiestas on the island, attracting around 2,000 people and lasting 3 days, the main day is on the Saturday. Apart from live music on the stage which goes on throughout the day with different bands performing, tucked away in a corner you can usually find someone playing the guitar or accordion.
Around the grounds there are numerous kiosk bars, stalls with handicrafts, fancy goods, local cheese and a large show of cattle, equine and other animals. There are variations each year with maybe dog agility or equine cross-country jumping or dressage but always a timed event with oxen pulling an increasingly weighted sledge around a course.
July/August normally every 5 years - 2015, 2020, 2025. La Bajada de la Virgin de las Nieves/Coming Down of the Virgin of the Snow from Las Nieves Church to Santa Cruz and La Danza de los Enanos/the Dance of the Dwarfs.
It's a huge fiesta lasting around 18 days and also incorporates such spectacles as Minuet dancing in full costume. It's huge, it's incredible, don't miss it!
However the Dance of the Dwarfs is also a major part of the celebrations – you have probably seen the dwarfs popping up on everything, on T-shirts, postcards, placards and even a statue!
For the actual dance of the dwarfs, they initially appear as 12 church clergy singing psalms, then solemnly walk around the precinct, this being the big car park near the harbour which is turned into an enclosed arena with staged seating for the audience. With heads down, their hands righteously together in prayer and the psalms, they slowly enter a tent through a door at the front and moments later … out pop the dwarfs at the other end dancing the polka!
The contrast is both funny and amazing especially as the outfits transforming them into dwarfs is entirely convincing. But these are all fully grown people – so how do they do it? That’s for you to work out!During the evening there are four performances and these are sold out months if not years ahead – tickets can be bought on line. The performances start late in the evening and culminates with a procession through the streets around 4am for which there is no charge. People start to claim a place from early afternoon! However, there are a few viewing opportunities to look down into the precinct from above and see a little piece of what is going on.