Never will you witnessed such a combination of colour, joy and costumes as you will see in February when the island gives itself over to Carnival.
Joy, colour, rhythm, and glitter flood the streets in this, the most emblematic Tenerife celebration. The capital’s carnival the second largest in the world, with only Rio de Janeiro Carnaval being bigger. In Santa Cruz 2017 the main parade will be on Tuesday, 28 February, and the burial of the sardine on Wednesday 1 March. This year’s theme will be The Caribbean.
Different groups made up of child and adult murgas, troupes, street musicians and musical groups compete each year to win the prize for the most spectacular choreography or the best musical arrangements. The goal is to fill the streets with rhythm, colour and a Brazilian party influence. They are phenomenally popular and there is television coverage of all the groups taking part.
The glittering sequined, feathered costumes are impressive but the huge float structures that surround the candidates who compete to be Carnival Queen are straight out of a fantasy story. Each year the gala grows bigger as the various events are broadcast on TV stations. The aim is to choose the best ambassadors to represent the island and party for the upcoming year.
The Queen, her attending maids, and Carnival groups are even more impressive when parading the streets of Santa Cruz in the spectacular Grand Opening Parade. The main streets of the city are blocked to traffic for a several hours to host the elaborate parade of colour that brings together the whole family.
Shrove Tuesday is marked by dancing and glitter for the Coso Apotheosis walk through its streets. Like the opening parade, this is a family affair broadcast live on TV. The Coso represents the end of the celebration of Carnival, but the people of Santa Cruz actually know that the party will continue for a little longer.
A deep-rooted and one of the funniest Carnival celebration is the burial of the sardine, an emblematic fish for people of Santa Cruz, who call themselves chicharreros. The fish is accompanied by hundreds of widows and mourners, mostly men dressed as women who swoon and weep inconsolably as they say their last goodbye to the holidays.
Each year Carnival transforms the city and infects chicharreros, locals, and visitors alike from all over the world….. Until next year.