Carnaval de Tenerife
The Party is About to Begin...

Carnaval de Tenerife, the Spanish way to say Tenerife Carnival. Colour, splendour, rhythm and fancy costumes are some of the characteristics you will see just before Lent (Cuaresma), during the most important festival in Tenerife and the Canaries and one of the best in the world. All elements are present: street parties, parades, masks and, of course, a lot of music, so visitors and locals can enjoy this fantastic event.



For a couple of weeks, the streets of many towns (pueblos) in Tenerife exude the fun and happiness of the crowds and become livelier than ever. There are several traditional festivals held on the island throughout the year, but certainly none of them has such importance as the Carnaval de Tenerife, a dashing blend of African, Latin American and Spanish influences.

Many of the revelers handmade their own costumers for the carnival in Tenerife

Gala Election and Parades at Carnaval de Tenerife 

The official start of Carnaval de Tenerife is with the Carnival Queen Election Gala (Gala de Elección de la Reina del Carnaval) in Santa Cruz de Tenerife – which is the most important one on the island – and in the other pueblos in Tenerife. The exception here is the carnival in Los Cristianos, which takes place later than the ones above, but also includes the election of a Queen at a very stylish Gala. 

A few days before the Gala, there are contests to define the schedule of the stages and the winners for the Murgas, Comparsas and Rondallas – or in other words, the election of the winning musical groups of the carnival in Tenerife, who will proudly be presented with their prizes in the parades called “El Coso” or “Cabalgatas”, after the Gala, with the closing parade called “El Entierro de la Sardinia” (Burial of the Sardine).

Don’t worry, after that there are still some parties running over the weekend, known as “Sábado de piñata”.

Tenerife Travel Secret

The Burial of the Sardine, or El Entierro de La Sardina, celebrated on Ash Wednesday (Miércoles de Ceniza), is the most irreverent parade of the Carnival in Tenerife and Santa Cruz, whereby the revellers start saying goodbye to the festivities by “mourning” the sardine – symbol of the carnival season in Tenerife. The apex of the burial is exactly the burial of the big cardboard sardine, when the model is burnt on a large bonfire. For this parade, the revellers leave their colourful costumes at home and go to the streets with dark clothes to “cry for the loss”, really representing a burial. It might seem a bit disrespectful to some, but for most it is basically a hilarious way to start saying goodbye to Carnival parades until the following year (with the exception of the parties of the Piñata weekend).


Come to this beautiful island and enjoy one of the best festivals of the world

Anyone coming from anywhere is more than welcome to join the parties, and the locals will make sure that you will feel this way. Just be sure that you are properly dressed for the occasion, meaning lots of glittery, colourful dresses, and that you get lots of rest prior to the parties, as you will certainly not want to miss any minute of one of the best carnivals in the world, second only to the famous Rio de Janeiro carnival.

In order for you to be informed and plan your trip well (if you are arriving on the island for the festival), or at least plan your days of fiesta, Tenerife Travel Secrets has created a special section for Carnaval de Tenerife season, with the schedule of parties, parades and locations, as well as recommendations for while you are on the island. It’s everything you need to just enjoy your stay during those happy and busy days.


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