The much-anticipated Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife will return in 2019 with a deep-sea theme that will see the island’s streets flooded with music, dancing and celebration for a month-long calendar of festivities. With vibrant parades, show-stopping costumes and unmissable dance performances that rival Rio, the Carnival promises even more fun and creativity this year, with its main events taking place between the 20th February and 10th March.
The internationally renowned Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the Canary Islands’ largest and most anticipated festival that attracts hundreds of thousands of people of all ages to Tenerife’s capital city every year. Considered the world’s second largest carnival after Rio, visitors 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 Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife are:
- Carnival Queen Election Gala (20th February, 8pm): Considered by many as the highlight of the Carnival, the spectacular Carnival Queen candidates are often the focus of the stunning iconic images each year. Shimmering 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. The beauty and flair of the wearers make it even more difficult to choose one favourite design.
- Opening Parade (1st March): 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 (3rd March): The other face of Carnival: the daytime festivities. Groups of friends, children and families stream by in their finest costumes. Under the bright light of day, people of all ages and origins share the streets looking to have a good time.
- Coso Apoteosis Parade (5th March): On Carnival Tuesday, when everyone’s muscles ache from Monday night’s dancing and their faces are still speckled with glitter, the city is once again filled with colour to celebrate the Grand Final Parade.
- The Burial of the Sardine (6th March): 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”.
- Fireworks (10th March): The Carnival ends with a show-stopping fireworks display.
Together with Santa Cruz, other Tenerife towns will be also celebrating their own carnivals in February and March with lively street parades and parties, including Puerto de la Cruz, Los Cristianos and Los Gigantes.