Update 16 March: And finally, the Entierro de la Sardina! Men dressed as wailing widows, a gigantic fish in full make-up which is paraded through the town and then burnt – no-one seems to know what roots the tradition has, but it’s always one of the most popular parts of any carnival. It’s tonight from 8pm, leaving from the Plaza del Pescador outside the Los Cristianos Cultural Centre, ending at the Playa de Los Cristianos, and being followed by the Gran Baile Fin de Carnaval – the Great End of Carnival Dance – back outside the Cultural Centre until late. Very late.
Update 15 March: Just a reminder that today is the Gran Coso (main parade) of Los Cristianos’ carnival. Events will start around 4pm at Paloma Beach, move up to the cultural centre, and then take over the town. There will be music and dancing until late.
Update 4 March: The Arona carnaval in Los Cristianos will be starting this Friday, 6 March, and will last until the 16th. The theme this year is an ancient Greek one: Arona, the Mt Olympus of the carnival! The most popular events are:
- Cabalgata Anunciadora (opening parade) on Saturday, 7th, starting at 7pm from C.C. Gala to C.C. Oasis in Playa de las Américas;
- Carnival Queen selection on Thursday 12th, starting at 9pm in the main stage area outside the Valdés Centre in Los Cristianos;
- Drag queen selection followed by music and dancing from 9pm until late on Friday 13th, again in the main stage area;
- All-day events on Saturday 214th in the main stage area and Plaza de la Pescadora in the harbour area;
- Gran Coso (main parade) of the carnival on Sunday 15th, starting at 4pm from Paloma Beach apartments to the cultural centre, followed by music and dancing until late.
Monday 16th, the last day of carnival, will see the Entierro de la Sardina (Burial of the Sardine) starting from the Plaza del Pescador outside the cultural centre at 8pm, followed by the End of Carnival dance outside the cultural centre … and throughout the town itself!
Update 16 February: Just a reminder that this is the main week of Carnaval. Many commercial outlets will have restricted hours – people might be affected, in particular, by banks closing early through the whole week – and many businesses will be closed altogether on Tuesday, which is a public holiday in many municipalities in Tenerife (there’s a list HERE). Anyone going to Santa Cruz should also bear in mind that the police checkpoints for drunk drivers on all access roads into the city that I posted about HERE will be most active this week.
Update 12 February: As of last night, Santa Cruz’ Carnaval 2015 has its carnival queen. From fourteen candidates parading on the stage of the Recinto Ferial, the winner, above, was Adtemexi Cruz Hernandez wearing the fantasia “Aurea”, designed by Jorge González Santana, for Fuentealta y Asociación Cultural Tú Santa Cruz. As of now, the carnival moves onto the streets of the capital – the opening procession starts at 8pm tomorrow evening from the Plaza de la República Dominicana (junction of the Ramblas near the Heliodoro), followed by music and dancing at the Plazas Candelaria, Principe and Avda Anaga from 10pm to … late. There are constant events from now until the main Coso Apoteosis (grand parade) on Tuesday, and then there’s the burial of the sardine on Wednesday, and there are still events after that over the following weekend for the Fin de Fiesta. It’s party time!
Update 24 January 2015: It might seeem that Christmas is only just over, particularly with Reyes just a fortnight or so ago, but already Carnaval 2015 is in full flow. The children’s murga competitions are underway with the adults’ to follow shortly, and there has already been a controversy over one of the male murga group’s songs – it was withdrawn after accusations of homophobia.
There are some who think that the murgas are the last place where political correctness is appropriate, but it seems that even the most outrageous and parodic part of the carnival is no longer exempt from the need not to offend. Tickets long since sold out for the murgas, however, but if anyone would like to watch online, the events are being streamed live HERE.
Original post 7 October 2014: There are already questions about it, so it’s worth starting the post. Carnaval 2015 is set to run from 21 January to 22 February 2015. The programme is still provisional, but the main carnaval website is HERE. Apart from the official website, the organizers have also set up a Facebook page HERE. After last year’s theme of Cartoons, this time it’s the Future, and planning is well under way.
The Tenerife capital’s carnival isn’t just the largest in Tenerife, it is now an official Fiesta de Interés Turístico Internacional, 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 of them in previous years, e.g. HERE. Perhaps most famous to outsiders, however, are the main parades, the choice of carnival queen, and the bizarre ceremony of the burial of the sardine, which heralds Lent.
Two other Carnavals of great local interest are Los Cristianos and Puerto de la Cruz: Los Cristianos’ carnival will be 6-16 March, and Puerto de la Cruz’ Burial of the Sardine is on 18 February (same day as Santa Cruz), the High Heels Drag race (Mascarita Ponte Taón) on the 20th, and main parade on the 21st. San Miguel de Abona’s main carnival event will also be on the 21st in San Miguel church square from 5pm.