HARIA – CARNIVAL FUN
We are in Carnival season here. This means that throughout February and early March it is just about possible to join a procession and street party everyday! However some of us have work to do!! So in true moderation we headed up from Finca de Arrieta a short distance to the beautiful village of Haria.
If you do not know Haria, then it is a ‘must visit’ location when you come to Lanzarote. Haria is situated just above Finca de Arrieta high in the charming “valley of the thousand palm trees”, one of the best groves of native palm trees in the Canary Islands. As the road winds between the mountains, there appears below an oasis in the middle of the island’s natural geology – green fields and crops dotted by the white of the traditional white architecture. In the shade of the mysterious Corona Volcano sleeps Haría, lulled by the tranquility of a very unique countryside.
Haria Carnival spanned 3 days of fun, starting last Friday morning with the street procession with the pupils of local schools, to the ‘Carnival de la Tapa’ and the ‘Carnaval de Islanto’ with the burning of the sardine in the evening.
The burning of the sardine mark the beginning and the end of Carnivals in Spain. It is said to be related to Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent, or it may be something to do with the harvest festival. The tradition originated in the middle of the 18th century. Traditionally the sardine is followed by mourners dressed in black weeping and wailing for the sardine. But don’t be fooled into thinking it is a funeral like atmosphere, much the opposite, it is far more a party than that. Regardless, it symbolises the end of Carnival and the return to normality. At least for a couple of days …. until the next one on the list which is Costa Teguise this weekend.
Anyway, we chose Haria for its beauty and closeness, on the Saturday night for the main procession and party into the night.
This years theme is ‘medieval’ although some of our ‘posse’ clearly got the wrong memo (LR co-founder Tila who looked more like a Mexican farmer, and the two in Croc Onesies whose names we have protected to save their reputations!!!
Here is the Costa Teguise carnival poster for those looking to some carnival fun this weekend.
More about Haria :
This pretty farming village offers visitors a variety of wonderful experiences. A must is a visit to the Casa Museo (Museum Home) of the world famous artist César Manrique. León y Castillo square invites you to relax in the shade of its laurel and eucalyptus trees. In the centre of the village is the Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación church (Church of Our Lady of the Incarnation) to where all village’s streets and laneways lead. One of the oldest religious buildings is the Hermitage of San Juan Bautista (Saint John the Baptist) which is located on the way into the Haría.
Described by Canarian author Alberto Vazquez as; “Without doubt the most beautiful village on the island, if not the world”, this palm-filled oasis is green and verdant, providing a stunning contrast to the starker, southern landscapes of Lanzarote.
Even César Manrique, Lanzarote’s favourite son, chose to spend his retirement years here and whilst his house is closed to the public his final resting place in the pretty cemetery at the edge of the village is open to visitors.
Haria lends its name to a wider municipality that basically encompasses the northern wedge of Lanzarote, but the village itself is home to only around 2,000 inhabitants.
This location begins to explain why the region stays so green, as the altitude attracts cloud and overnight condensation from which the plant life below can draw water. But this alone still doesn’t account for the proliferation of palm groves here.
Indeed, much earthier influences account for the valleys fertility.
During the 17th and 18th centuries villagers celebrated the birth of a new baby by planting palms — one for a girl and two for a boy, possibly in reaction to the burning of most of Haria’s trees and plants by marauding pirates during raids in the 1570’s.
Either way, this politically incorrect planting policy has now created an incredible spectacle that is one of Lanzarote’s most stunning sights.