Europe's largest annual carnival
Tenerife is not only the largest of the Canary Islands, it is also the site of Europe's largest annual carnival. Such is the scope and popularity of the Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival, that the city is very often associated with Rio de Janeiro, the city that hosts the famous Rio Carnival.
The streets are filled with the colours of the homemade costumes that come out to join in the festivities. The party atmosphere explodes in the streets in a blaze of colour and music, attracting visitors from all over the world.
For those who want to experience this extraordinary atmosphere and do not want to make the exhausting trip to Brazil, the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife offers the perfect alternative. It is advisable to experience the Tenerife Carnival at least once, perhaps taking advantage of low cost offers and holidays in Tenerife, for a unique party and holiday.
When does it take place?
The festival starts 40 days before Easter Sunday, so it usually takes place around February or March.
With parades, street parties and processions, the festivities are open to everyone and dressing up in costume is almost obligatory. Each year the carnival has a different theme and locals especially compete to dress up in the most original costume of all.
The Carnival Queen is the undisputed star of the whole event, with the prestigious prize awarded to the most beautiful of the year's competitors on the Wednesday before the last weekend of the carnival. She becomes the icon of the festival and represents the island and all carnival-related activities. Their gigantic costumes are truly colourful works of art that take almost a year to prepare.
The party continues until the beginning of Lent, with Shrove Tuesday marking the official end of Carnival and the following day follows the Burial of the Sardines, a themed party for Ash Wednesday, an experience that must be seen and lived to be believed!