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Art and culture

Everything you need to know about Tenerife Carnival

 

Take a peek at our quick guide on everything you need to know about Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival and get ready for a holiday like no other.

Just because the festive season is over doesn’t mean the festivities and celebrations must stop. And with Tenerife Carnival kicking off in February you can make sure that you continue the party! This vibrant festival has everything you could ask for – from colourful costumes to major performances. Plus, with the island’s year-round sunshine you can celebrate in a warmer climate.

February has never looked this good…

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What is it?

The Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival is an annual celebration that attracts thousands of locals and tourists to the island’s capital city. The festivities date back hundreds of years to the 15th century where people would indulge in extravagant feasts and excessive revelries before the start of Lent. Nowadays, the Tenerife Carnival continues this tradition and features iconic events such as the crowning of the Carnival Queens and murgas (musical troupes) contests. It’s grown so much it’s now the second most popular and internationally-renowned carnival in the world, only behind Rio de Janeiro’s annual bonanza.

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When is it?

The Tenerife Carnival kicks off in the run up to Lent, with the main festivities taking place the week prior to Ash Wednesday. This year, the carnival is kicking off on Wednesday 19 February 2020 and finishing on Saturday 1 March 2020. That’s almost two weeks of colourful parades, masquerade balls and non-stop street parties. Most businesses shut down for the celebrations, so there’s nothing stopping you from joining the party – you won’t want to miss out!

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Where is it?

As suggested by its name, the Tenerife Festival mainly takes place in Santa Cruz, the island’s capital. There are two parts to the festivities – the official carnival and the street carnival. The former is more structured and features more than 100 musical performances and contests. You’ll find these events in the International Trade Fair and Conference Centre, the Guimera Theatre and various open spaces across the city such as Plaza del Principe. The Opening Parade at Avendida de Francisco La Roche is a must-see, along with the iconic Burial of the Sardine on Ash Wednesday. And if you prefer spontaneous celebrations, stick to the streets where you can get lost among the costumes, colours and music.

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What can you expect?

Tenerife is warm year-round so expect blue skies and plenty of sunshine to complete your Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival experience. You can ditch the jumpers for t-shirts and shorts, but don’t forget about your costume!

Each year, Tenerife Carnival follows a different theme and this year it’s the Coquette ’50s. Think vintage glamour and sassy silhouettes with a carnivalesque twist. So grab your most colourful and elaborate costume and get ready to party through the streets. And remember, the bigger the better!

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Finally, keep an eye out for the carnival’s event schedule and decide what parades and contests you want to see. Some will require a ticket, but overall the carnival is free to attend so don’t be afraid to join in with the dancing and partying.

What are you waiting for?

Posted: 20th Dec 2019.

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