Pool party with a slippery catch

Every year in September, people travel to the village of San Nicolas on the Spanish Canary Island of Gran Canaria for a pool party.

The Fiesta del Charco is celebrated every year on Sept 11 in this village. The celebrations begin at 5pm with fireworks, following which participants get into the seawater pool El Charco and attempt to catch fish with their hands or using baskets. Very few succeed, but the challenge attracts more people from around the world every year.

On Tuesday, around 20,000 people took part in this San Nicolas tradition (above), which commemorates how fishermen used to fish by hand in the olden days.

It is derived from an aboriginal technique of fishing known as "embarbascada", where fish are stunned using the latex of the tabaiba and cardon plants and become easy to catch by hand.

This festival has been declared a fiesta of national tourist interest in Spain.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 13, 2018, with the headline 'Pool party with a slippery catch'. Print Edition | Subscribe