Carnaval in Tenerife 2014

Update 30 March: Just a reminder that today and tomorrow are the final two days of the Los Cristianos carnival, with the Gran Coso (closing parade) today starting from the outside of the Arona Gran hotel at 4pm, and with the Entierro de la Sardina (burial of the sardine) tomorrow, in the fairground opposite the Valdes Centre, at 8pm.

Update 26 March: San Miguel has announced its carnaval weekend this Saturday and Sunday in Llano de Camello. There will be a parade on Saturday, 29 March, leaving the Jardin de la Estrella CC at 5pm, and ending with a concert by Ni 1 Pelo de Tonto, and on Sunday, Patricia Chiquiar will give a zumba masterclass at noon in the CC Llano de Camello. 

Carnival queen Amanda Perdomo - Mighty Amazon. Photo: Cabildo
Carnival queen Amanda Perdomo – Mighty Amazon. Photo: Cabildo

Update 20 March: Just a reminder that the Los Cristianos carnival starts tomorrow, and lasts until the end of March. The programme of events is HERE.

Update 27 February 2014: The Santa Cruz carnaval now has its queen. Amanda Perdomo, with her fantasy Poderosa amazona (Mighty Amazon), designed by Daniel Pagés. Runner up was Rocío Benítez Pérez, wearing Mi gran noche, and in third place came Yolanda Mendoza in La esencia de Santa Cruz, also designed by Daniel. The gala for the election of the carnival queen took place in the Recinto Ferial with music, murgas, dance, and colour, all tuned to the overall theme for this year’s carnival, Cartoons.

The carnival, now an official Fiesta de Interés Turístico Internacional, moves out onto the capital’s streets with the Cabalgata Anunciadora (opening parade) tomorrow, starting what will no doubt again be a loud and sleepless few nights for the capital! The main parade, the Coso Apoteosis (closing parade), will be on Tuesday, 4 March, and again, thousands are likely to be there to share in what is recognized as the world’s second largest carnival after Rio de Janeiro. The bizarre ceremony of the Entierro de la Sardina (burial of the sardine) which heralds Lent will take place the next day, Wednesday 5th. The full programme with all other events is in the original post below. To see the above photo in its full size, please click the thumbnail below:

Original post 18 November 2013: It’s not even Christmas yet, but 2014’s Carnaval – the theme is “Cartoons” – is under starter’s orders with the publication of the provisional programme. The Tenerife capital’s carnival isn’t just the largest in Tenerife, it is widely considered to be the second largest in the world, with only the world-famous Rio de Janeiro Carnaval bigger. Events take place over a month, with almost everything seeming to come to a standstill when trying to get anything done in Tenerife!

One of the most keenly anticipated events, or series of events, is the murga competitions – a sort of combination of farce, satire and music (involving a type of kazoo) with outlandish costume and group singing. They are phenomenally popular and there is saturation television coverage of all the stages and groups taking part. I’ve posted videos in previous years of them, e.g. HERE. Perhaps most famous to outsiders, however, are the main parade, and the choice of carnival queen, and next year’s carnival will inevitably take place under the shadow of the terrifying experience of Saida Prieto, whose carnival queen gown was set alight in February by indoor fireworks from another contestant’s dress (link): the legal arguments and compensation issues are still ongoing, and it seems the emotional scars will understandably take much longer to heal than the physical ones.

The programme for Carnaval 2014, with events lasting from 31 January to 9 March, can be viewed HERE but the main events are the election of the carnival queen on 26 February, the opening parade 28 February, the closing parade 4 March, and the burial of the sardine (entierro de la sardina) 5 March. Two other Carnavals of great local interest are Los Cristianos (21-31 March, theme Africa, link) and Puerto de la Cruz (20 Feb-9 March, theme “Go West”, link).

  • Los Cristianos” opening parade is on 22 March, election of the carnival queen 27 March, closing parade 30 March, and the famous burial of the sardine on the 31st.
  • Puerto de la Cruz’  election of the carnival queen is on 27 February, opening parade 1 March, burial of the sardine 5 March, and closing parade 8 March. One other event in Puerto de la Cruz that’s unique to its carnaval is the high heels marathon – a sight to behold – on 7 March.


  1. Author

    I do agree, John, but I found myself thinking yesterday when that became news that they were between the devil and the deep blue sea. If they’d allowed it to go ahead and then there was a tragedy – one this year on the level of the horror last year when Saida Prieto’s carnival gown caught fire – there would have been uproar. Apart from the tragedy it would have been the end for carnaval altogether, I think. What they need to do here is get administrative efficiency and practical safety measures to the level they need to be … and then get them working in harmony!
    I’m afraid, however, that what hits my mind – in plena crisis as they say – is that once again, like Los Cristianos, a fair gets delayed because of “paperwork” when the fair has been there year after year after year. This is not a new thing, it’s the traditional fair. Everyone knows the ropes by now. I find myself wondering what sort of “paperwork” could be a problem … so suddenly … when everyone’s so hard up, including councils …

  2. Looks like the Carnaval Organisation has hit another own goal , with the fairgroung not being allowed to open due to “paperwork issue ” – beaurocracy at it´s best on the Island¨s biggest days it seems ! Link

  3. Author

    It’s HERE, and I’ve now edited the link above to lead to it … when I made that post the programme in this pdf format hadn’t been released.

  4. We are coming to Tenerife for the carnaval but can’t find details of the Puerto de la Cruz itinerary (times and locations) of events. Can you please direct me to this. The link above has the dates but there isn’t a “download” button to click on that I can see.

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