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The carnivals of the Canary Islands are considered to be one of the best in the world. Thousands of visitors arrive every year on the islands in search of fun and thrill!  🎉

But if there is a traditional party deeply rooted in history that children and adults like, it is Los Carneros de El Hierro: ¡ A very different carnival!

This celebration has gained fame with the passing of the decades thanks to its originality and gradually by its own merit has been making its way among the most popular carnivals in Spain.

Will you accompany us to ” race ” through the streets of the wonderful island of El Hierro to escape from the ” rams “?

We can assure you that you have never experienced anything like it! 😃

The origin of los Carneros de Tigaday.

In the town of Tigaday (municipality of Frontera), in El Hierro, on Sunday and Tuesday of carnival, there is a singular and comical parade of “rams”.

This old representation linked to local folklore was about to be forgotten after the Spanish Civil War.

At that time, a citizen of Frontera named Benito Padrón, together with his son Ramón Padrón with the help of the members of the Folklórico Tejeguate Group, believed in it and took charge of reviving it and maintaining it until today.

It is so important that it is considered to be an Asset of Cultural Interest of the Canary Islands.

What can we find in the carnival of Los Carneros del Hierro?

A “flock” of between 30 and 40 people take to the streets of Tigaday representing the “rams”.

The youngest (must be over 18 years old) are dressed in dry ram skins or “zaleas (tanned sheep leather or ram that retains the wool)” to run through the streets and scare everyone present as they push them, butt them and throw them to the ground.Todo esto se realiza, claro está, con cuidado para no dañar a nadie.

We want to alert you in advance that, if you get hit, in addition to making several dirty things, you will be smeared with black bitumen!

Formerly the rams were painted and stained others with the smut of the cauldrons. In the 80’s the use of bitumen began and the custom has been maintained until now.

The zaleas are prepared for months or even years prior and saved for the time of the festival.

The people wearing the skins must be in good physical condition, both to support the weight of the clothing (can reach up to 40 kilos) and to endure several hours running between neighbours and visitors.

The “rams” have their faces covered with handmade zalea masks so as not to be recognized and give the clothing a more realistic look.

To create these masks they use a construction helmet that they cover with the skins in a very careful and laborious way. Afterwards, they are finished off with a horn.

The intention is to create panic among the attendants of the event who are eagerly awaiting the parade of these curious animals.

But you will realize that what is most heard in this unique carnival is the laughter of everyone! 😄

The children of the house run amusingly so that the “rams” do not catch them. Older ones, if they are a little neglected are attacked by the rams and will not stay calm until their faces and bodies are filled with dark bitumen.

The sound of the bells tied to their waists warns us that they are coming for us… Be careful they don’t catch you!

For one day, we all feel like children playing this ” tag game ” … And we love that!


Tips to enjoy the Carnaval de los Carneros in El Hierro.

  • More and more tourists come to El Hierro attracted by this unique carnival. The island is small, so we would recommend that you book your flights and accommodation well in advance to ensure you can travel on the dates you prefer.
  • Wear clothes that can easily get stained. So If the rams catch up with you, they can paint your face and the rest of your body that is not covered with black bitumen, so your clothes can get stained by touching them.
  • If you don’t want to be hit, then don’t wander quietly through the centre of the street. You will be a perfect target for them. Position yourself where you can see everything without attracting much attention … The rams will be watching you and may go for you!
  • Be careful because, in addition to the rams, you will find several characters known as “Los locos”, representing several shepherds who are wearing masks so that they cannot be recognized, they help the rams to spread terror among the people they meet on their way.
  • The celebration ends at dusk with the last performance of the rams: a group stampede where the noise of the bells mixes with the appreciative applause of the audience.
  • Get ready to spend some entertaining hours of suspense and excitement. Our advice is, if you want to enjoy it like never before… Participate in the party! It will be an experience you will never forget! 😉

El Hierro has a special charm that will definitely captivate you.

Everyone who visits the island dreams of returning to enjoy once again its idyllic landscape that exudes so much peace and harmony.

If you want to add a little extra to your stay, you can organize your visit during the Carnival season and attend the performance of Los Carneros of Tigaday.

But remember, you can enjoy Hierro Island all year round!

Any time is perfect to organize a getaway to the Canary Islands and enjoy its fantastic climate, the warmth of its people, incredible natural scenery and tasty gastronomy.

Contact us to organize your trip to the Canary Islands and we will offer you great discounts on flights, hotels, transportation and excursions.

We will prepare a very complete holiday where you will only have to worry about having a good time! And at a great price 😍

For a more personalized attention, contact us by telephone calling 922 15 12 51 or sending an email to ofertas@tubillete.com and we will answer all your doubts.

Remember that at the end of this article, you have the possibility to send us a message with your requests or doubts and we will respond quickly.




Would you like to discover another extraordinary and famous carnival of the Canary Islands? Don’t miss our post: Guide to enjoy the Indianos: La Palma becomes covered in white!

We’ll explain to you in detail what one of the most beautiful and eye-catching celebrations on the islands is all about. You won’t want to miss it! 😊