In La Gomera time passes without ever knowing where it will take us. This delicate island, almost round but with high mountains and deep gorges, gathers Tertiary Era forests, solitary coves and paradisiacal beaches in its 397 square kilometers. In this environment, traditions such as the whistled language of La Gomera, recognized by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, have remained almost intact. This form of communication, unique in the world, gives the measure of the authenticity of the island’s population, which has managed to overcome the difficulties of its orography with its own personality.
Virgin nature is the protagonist, which is why it has been declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. It has 17 protected natural areas including Garajonay National Park, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Throughout its municipalities you can hear the sounds of the chácaras and drums, which raise the spirit to accompany the singing groups that travel in the popular festivities from one region to another, often ascending and descending through this unique natural environment, constantly dancing. These are some of the dates we should not miss in order to participate in their celebrations:
San Sebastián de La Gomera
Light Festivities in honor of the Virgin of Guadalupe. They are celebrated every five years in the month of October, in honor of the one who receives the affectionate nickname of “La Morenita de Puntalla.” The pilgrimage that takes place is a great tradition among the fishermen of the area. Those who attend the festival travel by boat to the shrine and sanctuary of Our Lady of Guadalupe, in the Puntallana area, and from there the Virgin is taken to San Sebastian de La Gomera.
Colombus Festivities These are celebrated in September with a multitude of activities such as exhibitions, concerts, conferences, theater and sporting events. They commemorate the departure of Christopher Columbus from La Gomera to the New World, since this was the last port where the caravels were supplied and where the water with which America was baptized was collected.
Carnival of San Sebastián de La Gomera. The carnival is celebrated in February and has its own costume parade and musical performances. With the voting of Carnival queens, carnival processions and floats, these are days of intense festivities with the throwing of talcum powder, a popular tradition that makes them even more fun. Its essence is the joy of celebrating, also far from the crowds, the color and originality of a population that takes to the streets to share good times while dancing under the sun and the stars.
Paso Festivities. These festivals are held in September and are one of the best opportunities to enjoy the sound of the chácaras, drums and romances of La Gomera.
Festivities of Santiago Apóstol. These are celebrated in the month of July in Playa de Santiago with tournaments, festivals, children’s festivals and religious events, in which the chácaras and drums accompany the procession, adding great emotion to the moment.
Valle Gran Rey
The Branch of Arure. Coinciding with the celebration of San Salvador, this offering takes place in August and consists of a frame made of a sweet cane stalk, profusely decorated with flowers, fruits and sweets. The moment is linked to the religious ritual, accompanied by chácaras and drums, a song of romance and dance.
Bonfires of San Marcos. In April, on the eve of San Marcos, one of the most magical nights of La Gomera takes place when the bonfires are lit. It is a festive, religious and pagan gathering that every year confirms an ancient tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation.
Feast of the Roses. The feast is held in August in the neighborhood of the town with the same name, an important meeting point for neighbors from all over the island who come to the dance and the traditional market. There you can find valuable pieces of pottery from La Gomera and products made with palm honey, whose interpretation center is located in Vallehermoso. The Las Loceras interpretation center is located in Chipude, also in the municipality of Vallehermoso, and is a privileged place to learn about the elaboration processes of the traditional ceramics of La Gomera.
Candelaria Festivities. They are held in August in the Chipude area. The tradition consists of singing romances to the Virgin, so it is a meeting place for the island’s most important players of chácaras and drums.
Festivities of El Cedro. They are held in August at the hermitage of Lourdes, located on the path of one of the trails of the laurel forest of El Cedro, in Garajonay National Park. It is impressive to see the Virgin of Lourdes in procession through the forest to the village with the accompaniment of drums, chácaras and dances.