Being twinned with the city of Rio de Janeiro thanks to carnival does not exactly speak of the celebration of a festival that passes unnoticed. This is the case with Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the city of the Canary Islands in which the carnival celebrations are one of the most important events of the year. That said, it isn’t the only one, as carnival in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria has also become a reference point for all lovers of costumes.
Carnival in Tenerife is celebrated in all the towns and cities on the island, although it is Santa Cruz and Puerto de la Cruz that receive the biggest crowds and reach a party level which is difficult for other parts of Spain to match. The party takes place in the streets, decorated with all kinds of objects which turn the island into a rainbow whose vibrant atmosphere only grows more and more intense. In fact, they say that carnival in Tenerife ends when your body can take no more.
In Santa Cruz, the election of Carnival Queen and her court, and the Children’s Queen and hers, is the cue for the procession that heralds the Carnival. From that moment on, murgas and rondallas (bands of street musicians), krewes, competitions and parades fill the week of activities whose final climax is the Coso, the big parade that begins in mid-afternoon and which this year will include more than 100 groups, each with an average of 50 members. The burial of the Sardine, with its mournful widows, men in costume and attacks of all types, signals that the activities are nearing an end and culminate with the Piñata Chica celebrations. Performances, open-air dances and exhibitions enliven a week that is very difficult to forget for anyone who has had the pleasure of experiencing it.
Gran Canaria, for its part, is also positioning itself as one of the most important in carnival destinations in the country. Galas for the election of the children’s, adults’ and seniors’ queens, competitions of adults’ and children’s murgas (bands of street musicians), krewes and music groups, band festivals and rondalla contests, orchestral performances and Carnival bands in the street make the great masquerade and costume party an event which should not be missed and whose annual theme is One Thousand and One Nights.
To eat: After a carnival parade, it is important to eat well. Cocina Urbana in Santa Cruz is a great option for discovering that the best is always on the plate. In Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Deliciosa Marta is a great name for a place in which all the senses will be given a feast.
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