Carnaval And Tenerife, Made For Each Other There’s always another fiesta just around the corner in Tenerife and the New Year hardly has time to settle in before thoughts turn to Carnaval season. Santa Cruz is just an hour away from Hotel Paradise Park and home to a celebration second only to the annual bash in Rio. The 2013 Santa Cruz Carnaval has Bollywood as it’s theme and the main events run from 6 to 17 February. Close behind come the regional Carnaval celebrations – you may like to note that Arona Carnaval based around Los Cristianos celebrates from 7 to 11 March and we will have a full run down of times and venues nearer the events.
There are certain elements common to all of the Carnaval celebrations, fancy dress, election of a Carnaval Queen and Junior Queen, late night music and dancing, and the sardine funeral. Groups of volunteers spend all year making elaborate costumes and practicing dance routines and the public are invited to join in as Santa Cruz becomes a massive party zone.
The election of the Carnaval Queens open the main season on Wednesday 6 February, it’s one of the few indoor events and all the tickets went within hours of going on sale. Most of the action takes place in the streets like the opening Cabalgata parade on the evening of Friday 8 February and the daytime Coso parade from 4pm on Tuesday 12 February. The sardine funeral takes place the next night, Wednesday 13 from 8pm and features the giant papier mache sardine being paraded through the streets before being burnt amid a grand show of fireworks.
Carnaval is very much for and by the people with a strong hint of rebellion against authority, this is shown in the wild costumes and satirical songs of the murga bands. During Carnaval the streets are buzzing all night with music and dance, many people go up on the late buses and stagger home in the early morning. If you value your sleep the Saturday daytime celebrations on 16 February are well worth a visit. The shopping streets and plazas in the centre of town have live bands and dancing all day and are packed with party people. Everything is very informal, if you haven’t got fancy dress just wear something colourful and outrageous, have fun, and join in the dancing.