Day of the Canary Islands Date in the current year: May 30, 2024

Day of the Canary Islands The Day of the Canary Islands (Día de Canarias) is a public holiday in the Spanish autonomous community of the Canary Islands. It is celebrated every year on May 30 to commemorate the inaugural session of the Parliament of the Canary Islands.

The Canary Islands archipelago is located in the Atlantic Ocean, about 60 miles west of Morocco and Western Sahara. Europeans first arrived here in the early 14th century. The Majorcans even established a mission in the archipelago, but the real European contest of the Canary Islands began in the early 15th century.

The Castilian conquest of the Canary Islands took place between 1402 and 1496. The first Castilian expedition to the islands was led by the French explorer Jean de Béthencourt. In 1404, Béthencourt became King of the Canary Islands, acknowledging King Henry III of Castile to be his liege lord. The native people of the islands – the Guanches – tried to resist, but the Spanish conquered the Gran Canaria by 1483, La Palma by 1493, and Tenerife by 1496.

After the discovery of America, the Canary Islands became an important stopping point en route to the New World, and, naturally, attracted the attention of other countries, as well as pirates and privateers. During the following centuries, the archipelago was attacked by the Berbers, the Dutch, and the British, but Spain firmly held control over the islands.

In 1833, the Canary Islands officially became a province of Spain, with Santa Cruz de Tenerife as its capital. The residents of Las Palmas, another major city, disagreed with this decision, which eventually led to the division of the archipelago into two provinces, with Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Santa Cruz de Tenerife as their respective capitals. Interestingly, even today both cities are the capitals of the Canary Islands.

After the fall of the Franco regime, Spain became a democratic constitutional monarchy. In accordance with the new constitution adopted in 1978, Spain was divided into autonomous communities, each with its own scope of competences defined in their Statutes of Autonomy. The Canary Islands became one of such communities.

The Statute of Autonomy of the Canary Islands was published and came into force on August 10, 1982, granting the new autonomous community a degree of self-government enacted through the Parliament of the Canary Islands (regional legislature), the Government of the Canary Islands (regional executive) and the High Court of Justice of the Canary Islands within the judicial system of Spain.

The first elections to the Parliament of the Canary Islands were held in 1983. The inaugural parliamentary session, presided by Pedro Guerra Cabrera, took place on May 30, 1983. Its anniversary is now celebrated as the Day of the Canary Islands. According to the Statute of Autonomy, it is one of the official symbols of the Canary Islands, alongside the flag, the coat of arms and the anthem. Celebrations of the Day of the Canary Islands typically include traditional sports, cultural festivals, music, food, and private gatherings.

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Day of the Canary Islands, public holidays, regional holidays, holidays in the Canary Islands, holidays in Spain