Although August 5th is the main festivity in honor of the Virgin in Agaete, Nuestra Señora de Las Nieves, a day before the Fiesta de la Rama is celebrated. This has been recognized since 1972 as a Fiesta of National Tourist Interest. The Rama de Agaete, which has become one of the main symbols of identity of Gran Canaria, attracts thousands of people every year who gather and dance to ask for rain while waving a piece of branch in their hands.
La Rama de Agaete, a symbol of the island's identity.
Undoubtedly the Fiesta de la Rama de Agaete is one of the main symbols of identity of the island. As we have already mentioned, the main festivity in honor of the Virgin is celebrated on August 5th, but it is the day before, August 4th, when the Fiesta de la Rama takes place. Thousands of dancers, to the rhythm of the two bands of music of the municipality, walk through the town waving branches in the air, until they reach the sanctuary of the Virgen de Las Nieves.
The Fiesta de La Rama, according to some scholars, could have similar connotations to the aboriginal rite for the petition of rain. The ancient settlers of the island of Gran Canaria brought branches from the mountain of Tirma to hit the sea with them while they chanted songs as a prayer to their god. In the case of the current celebration, the branches are not beaten against the water, but are given as a sign of offering to the patron saint.
Agaete, a municipality with a lot of history
The great amount of archaeological sites located in Agaete confirms its relevance in terms of the existence of important pre-Hispanic settlements prior to the conquest of Gran Canaria, which took place at the end of the 15th century. The conquest of the northern part of the island was carried out through an important incursion by means of the Puerto de Las Nieves.
After the conquest, completed in 1483, Don Alonso Fernandez de Lugo was appointed mayor of Agaete and governor of the area. It was the devotion of Fernández de Lugo himself for the Virgin of Las Nieves, which later gave the port its name.
The new economic order that was installed in the area due to the important vineyard plantations and sugar mill s allowed a rapid growth and advancement of the area. In addition, the Port of Las Nieves connected the island with the European markets, becoming an almost obligatory stop for ships bound for northern Europe.
One of the most beautiful villages in the northwest of Gran Canaria.
From the summits crowned by the best pine forest of Gran Canaria to the waters of the Atlantic, passing through a fertile and beautiful valley and a historic center of interest. The municipality of Agaete is located in the northwest of the island. The area preserves a traditional aspect and offers the harmony and beauty of a historical urban ensemble of white houses that sit on the slopes of its ravines. The 19th century mansions with courtyards and the church of La Concepción stand out. A walk through the Huerto de las Flores complements the visit.
Due to its geographical situation and its northwest orientation, the municipality of Agaete does not offer frontality to the trade winds. This condition makes rainfall scarce throughout the year, which guarantees a warm and pleasant climate. This is one of the characteristics that make it one of the most visited municipalities and with an important volume of tourism with respect to the other municipalities of the northern part of the island.
Before leaving the town you should visit one of the most interesting archaeological sites of Gran Canaria: the necropolis of Maipés. Of course, you can not leave Agaete without visiting the charming fishing village of Puerto de las Nieves. You will be surprised by the stamp of its white and blue houses at the foot of a beach of callaos. This is probably the most popular place on the island to enjoy a delicious fresh fish by the sea.
Gran Canaria is an island that offers a multitude of options for entertainment and, above all, to enjoy its gastronomy. Here are some links that may be of interest to you if you are visiting the island or are planning to visit it soon: Three restaurants where to eat in Gran Canaria; Viera y Clavijo Botanical Garden, an oasis in Gran Canaria; The viewpoint of Gran Canaria, Pico de Las Nieves.
Photos: grancanaria.com, antena3.com, canariasnoticias.es, holaislascanarias.com