Carnival burns the Sardine and announces an Olympic festival for 2025

Next year, visitors and residents of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria will offer an image full of sports allusions

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 20 February 2024. The Sardine burned in the waters of Las Canteras to bring Carnival 2024 to a close. The Carnivals of the World bade farewell, to be followed immediately afterwards by the announcement of the theme that will set the mood for the 2025 festivities: the Olympics. This subject, chosen by the public in an online vote, became the final centre of attention on the last day of this year’s carnival programme.

More than 25,000 people said goodbye to a Carnival unprecedented in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. In the 21st century, at least: “The Carnivals of the World” were those of the festival in the popular district of La Isleta, where the main events on the programme and the celebrations of the Daytime Carnival and Carnival Nights were concentrated. The crowd last Sunday, 18 February, dominated, as was to be expected, by the deafening wail of the weeping widows, accompanied the procession of the Sardine to Las Canteras beach for its traditional cremation. There the fish burned and the festival was over until 2025.

Beyond the massive presence of carnival-goers, the Carnival Queen, Katia Gutiérrez Thime, the Drag Queen, Elektra, the Junior Queen, Liah Guardia Suárez, and the Grande Dame, Eva Costa Santiago, the farewell ceremony of Carnival 2024 had a marked sense of continuity: of connection with the immediate future, with the announcement, in what was the last act of these festivities (or the first of the next ones), of what the theme to set the mood for the next celebrations will be.

An Olympic Carnival

The 2025 Carnival of the Olympics will revolve around an event as universal as the carnival itself, and one that is perfectly in tune with the open and cosmopolitan character of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Since the original Olympic Games organized in ancient Greece, but also from their revival in 1896 in the spirit expressed by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, this great world sports gathering has periodically brought together representatives of different cultures under the banner of universal Olympic values.

The Games are, in fact, a great “arena” for fancy dress: whether as a discobolus or athlete crowned with laurel, or as a modern sportsperson, in any of the Olympic disciplines. Athletics, swimming, team sports, summer and winter... the possibilities here will be endless for the imaginative carnival-goers in the capital of Gran Canaria, as well as for the designers of the costumes of candidates for the festival crowns and the various Carnival groups. What could be better than an Olympic Carnival for celebrations with an international dimension that have always been gold medal material and have never been lacking in allusions and references to sport?