No sooner has Tenerife finished celebrating Christmas and New Year, when it gets into celebration mode again to welcome the annual Tenerife Carnival. This takes place in the capital, Santa Cruz de Tenerife. If you’re visiting Tenerife any time soon, you’re in for a spectacular treat.
Tenerife Carnival is a huge event in the island’s calendar. The capital city Santa Cruz de Tenerife is filled with dance, music, colour, contests for all ages and a general sense of fun every year. There is always a theme to the event, which is democratically selected by a voting system. Tenerife Carnival is the second largest in the world, after the Rio Carnival, so you can expect riotous celebrations and an action-packed line-up of events.
Choosing a Carnival Queen
Although the actual dates of the Carnival are adjusted each year in line with Easter, the run-down of events is typically the same. On the Wednesday before Shrove Tuesday, a huge gala takes place for the selection of the Carnival Queen. Candidates wearing elaborate and often very heavy and expensive costumes parade on a stage, where voters can select their queen to represent the carnival that year.
The announcement parade
On the Friday before Shrove Tuesday, the announcement parade takes place, wherein Carnival groups march in the streets, followed by a fireworks display.
Music, dancing and eating
Devoted to dance, Carnival Saturday takes place throughout the capital, where the streets come alive with the sound of music and rhythmic dancing. On Carnival Monday, the theme of the day is dedicated to feasting. On Shrove Tuesday, the main parade takes place, with a lively and colourful procession of floats, followed by fireworks.
Burial of the Sardine
On Ash Wednesday, a rather curious event takes place that is a particular spectacle for any visitor to Tenerife. The Burial of the Sardine turns Santa Cruz de Tenerife into a city of mourning, as a huge sardine made from paper, rags or cloth is carried across the city on a float by an entourage of wailing mourners, where it is then burnt.
On the following weekend, the Pinata Chica takes place, which marks the end of the carnival celebrations. During this weekend, you can expect non-stop dancing, partying, shows and parades. If you’re planning on visiting this spectacular event, organise your travel arrangements in good time, as it, inevitably, gets very busy. Puerto de la Cruz also puts on a carnival, with the Men’s Marathon in High Heels an unmissable event. For more festivities you may want to consider holidays in Los Cristianos which hosts its own festival