The Santa Cruz Carnival

By | Category: Travel destinations

festival time in Santa Cruz

It is nearly time for carnival time in Briton’s favourite holiday destination, Tenerife. This year a “fantasy” theme has been chosen by the organisers which gives a wide choice for visitors joining in the fun when they come to choosing their costumes.

The main part of the festival runs from the 7th until the 18th of February.

The Santa Cruz Carnival is the island’s largest festival, attracting hundreds of thousands of people of all ages to Tenerife’s capital city every year. Claimed by the island to be the world’s second largest carnival after Rio de Janeiro, the street party attracts large crowds who fill the city’s squares and streets to dance salsa and view the spectacularly put together parades, which are all free for visitors.

Among the highlights of this year’s Santa Cruz Carnival are:

  • Carnival Queen Election Gala (7th February): Probably the highlight of the Carnival, the Carnival Queens are often the focus dressed as they are in sequins, feathers, colours, fabrics and textures – the huge structures that the aspirant queens wear look truly amazing, and every costume seems to have been inspired by a fairy tale.
  • Opening Parade (9th February, evening): The queen’s costume, her maids of honour and the Carnival groups take on a whole new level when seen close up parading down the streets of Santa Cruz, followed by costumed performers, dance troupes and musical groups.
  • Family-friendly Day Carnival (11h February and 17th. February): The other face of the Carnival are the daytime festivities. Groups of friends, children and families stream by in their finest costumes.
  • Coso Apoteosis Parade (13th February): On Carnival Tuesday, the city is once again filled with colour to celebrate the Grand Final Parade.
  • The Burial of the Sardine (13th February): The Burial of the Sardine takes place on Ash Wednesday and features a crazy, irreverent procession of weeping “widows” with a huge model fish, which is finally “cremated”.

Together with Santa Cruz, in February and March other Tenerife’s towns will be also celebrating their own carnivals with lively street parades and parties, including Puerto de la Cruz, Los Cristianos and Los Gigantes.

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