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Beverlyheels StyleFestivals: The Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival

Festivals: The Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival

Posted on Thu, Sep 12th, 2019

The Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival is the second most popular carnival in the world after Rio Carnival. In 2020, it begins on February 19th and finishes on Saturday 1st March. The origin of this festival dates back to the 15th century, when the carnival was brought to the island after the Spanish conquest in 1492. Like most carnivals, it was the last chance for a feast and giving into excess before Lent. In the 19th century, Tenerife Carnival became official and the first competitions were added to the carnival.

Dating back to hundreds of years, it is the quintessential party in the Canary Islands and the most anticipated event of the year. The Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival is a pre-lantern carnival that takes place over an entire month. The main week of carnival is the week prior to Ash Wednesday when the celebration kicks into high gear. With attendance of more than 250,000 people, the gorgeous capital city of Santa Cruz lights up with all the dazzling costumes and hustle bustle during this festival. Masquerading is also a popular concept in this festival.

While most of Europe celebrates carnivals in the winter when it is cold, the gorgeous warm weather of Tenerife, the largest of Spain’s Canary Islands, makes it the perfect place to celebrate this carnival. During this week businesses shut down and everyone heads out to party and its absolutely inescapable! Other than numerous competitions, such as, awards for the best musical troupes and other singing and dancing competitions, there is also the crowning of Carnival Queen. And after the Carnival Queen is crowned, the party begins on Tenerife. Color, costumes, and joy fill the streets and the Carnival is jam-packed with numerous parades, shows, concerts, masquerade balls, and non-stop parties. All people, young and old, get into costumes and hit the streets of Tenerife for feasting, socializing, dancing, and an inane amount of drinking. The motto of Tenerife Carnival is ‘No two carnivals are equal!’

Tenerife is advertised as the island of eternal spring, so people are often confused as to what to pack for the festival. Tenerife Carnival means costumes galore, so, if you don’t wear costumes, you might as well visit that place some other time. If you are going to the Carnival, put on Mohawk wigs, funny hats, or even a full-on costume to be part of the celebrations. And don’t worry about going wild, you will be in the midst of Snow Whites, Minnie Mouse, vampires, clowns, Cleopatras, and pirates. Go crazy with the makeup and don’t be shy to show your wild side if you don’t want to go invisible!

For some great costume options and accessories visit

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