The carnival of Tenerife comes to an end after more than a month of activities, events and partying in the streets.
To speak of the carnival of Tenerife is to refer to the party par excellence of our island. A worldwide reference that identifies us as a happy, fun and full of desire to enjoy culture. Being at our party is something that everyone should allow themselves at least once in their life.
Let’s start with a brief historical review of the origins of our carnival. It is agreed by experts that the carnival emerges as a pagan festival that is later adopted for under the precepts of Christianity. These festivities began with the clear intention of paying homage to freedom and took different routes in many parts of the world.
It is estimated that it arrived in the islands around the 16th century, the first bibliographical references are found in the 18th century, both the wealthier classes and the humble classes celebrated as much as they could in the face of the impediment of the authorities these days. In the 19th century, more elaborate events began to take place. We can see the first attempts of cosos, competitions and street art. In 1925, the first programme of the carnival festivities of the capital’s city council was presented. Murgas, rondallas or comparsas began to form with increasing interest in being part of the festival. The costumes also begin to evolve.
Carnival during the dictatorship
After the civil war, Franco’s arrival in power and the imposed dictatorship, the carnival suffered the consequences. Despite the deep-rooted nature of the population, the festival was suspended and forced to go underground, where many were arrested and interrogated. It was not until 1961 that the celebration of these festivities was made official to be called “Winter Festivities” and in 1967 they were already established as a Festival of National Tourist Interest.
It was in 1980 when the carnival recovered its name and was designated as a Festival of International Tourist Interest. It became a reference to the height of Rio de Janeiro or Venice. Since that year, the festival has evolved to become a reference, a popular celebration that crosses borders and is based on the principles of freedom, kindness, hospitality and fun for locals and tourists.
It is not a party that is unique and exclusive to the island’s capital, many municipalities celebrate their carnival in our archipelago.
There are many things you should know about our party, it would take us hours to explain the network of groups, competitions and holidays. Let’s try to give you some insight into our customs.
- – The Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival was included in the Guinness Book of Records in 1987. More than 200,000 people were in the Plaza de España to listen to Celia Cruz. This figure was surpassed last year with the concert of Juan Luis Guerra in the same place where the authorities estimated 400,000 people.
- The queen of the carnival is a vital figure on whom the party rests. Her costumes weigh an average of 170kg and combine spectacularity and brilliance. There is no carnival without its queen.
- The burial of the sardine is another of the most recognisable traditions. Its widows weep disconsolately in the streets of the capital before the final bonfire.
- There are many contests in which to be the protagonists of the carnival; Murgas, rondallas, comparsas, floats, musical and choreographic groups. Every person has their own space.
A unique party full of magic. A place to share laughter and fun in front of a world that gives less and less opportunities for that to happen. If you want to join all the canaries and live a special experience, Baobab Suites is your perfect place to stay during the carnival.