Every year in February or in March it is the time of the carnival in Tenerife. Carnivals are held in the capital city Santa Cruz and in many other towns and villages and schools, too. Bigger than the Tenerifean carnival is only the carnival in Rio. The carnival lasts for 14 days and nights and it ends 40 days before Easter. The streets of the city centre fill with spectacular processions, street bands and dancers. Many streets turn into dancing floors. The costumes are unbelievable.
The highlights of the carnival are the Election of the Queen among numerous Carnival Queen candidates and the Burial of the Sardine.
Every year the carnival had a special theme. Unlike many Island Water Carnivals where the water carnival queen is chosen, this Carnival takes place on land and begins with the Election of its own Carnival Queen. You will have a special chance to see that huge show. The dresses there are absolutely stunning! You have never seen anything like that. The dance performances of all the carnival queen candidates are fabulous. The whole show is really fantastic. Maybe it is expensive, but it was worth it!
Later at night there is also a parade along the streets of Santa Cruz. Huge crowds of people gather to see it and you will have to stretch your neck to see something. All the Carnival Queen candidates are also there, so if you are lucky enough you will see all the magnificent dresses from a close distance.
You can't believe the celebration in the street unless you see it with your own eyes. It's very hard to describe all the activities that you see in the streets. At seven in the evening all the streets are empty when everyone goes home to prepare for the night's celebration. Suddenly at nine it all starts with full blast. The large centre of Santa Cruz gets crowded with people dancing in their fancy dresses. Each participant can become one of the Carnival Queen candidates, if they have a bright, unique dress and the dancing vigor fitting the Carnival Queen's status.
As for fancy dresses, this year's absolute fashion were hairy overalls representing a bear, a rabbit or any other animal. Hairy Eskimo dresses were also popular. Most men were dressed as women. Especially nurses with tight, short dresses were very popular. They were a real wonder to a visitor especially from the north, where summer carnivals are a rarity! She-devils and Pippi Langstrump dresses were also in fashion among men.
The music is so loud that you can't dream of sleeping, not even with earplugs on! Everybody walks around the centre of the town, or rather squeezes themselves into the crowd. There are hundreds of small kiosks everywhere selling goodies and snacks and, of course, loudspeakers playing salsa rhythms as loud as they could. And it is certainly a different song in every kiosk side by side!!!! They have more different ways to party than people in any other carnival loving country.
These people really enjoy themselves and have a very good time.
The whole night passes quickly and finally you get so tired that you will go back to the hotel room. Even at six o'clock in the morning the outside party goes on. The next day you will see some last people in the streets.
When the evening comes the party continues and everybody gets crazy again.