Visit Tenerife Festivals
Carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the second biggest in the World after Rio de Janiero.
All Spaniards love a fiesta and Tenerife is no exception. These are some of the better ones.
Carnival always takes place in February or March and in Santa Cruz de Tenerife it is the biggest Carnival in Europe and second biggest in the world. It is hoping to gain UNESCO World Heritage status such is its importance.
Carnaval begins with the election of a queen of the carnival and an opening day parade on the Friday before Carnival and then street parties and Latin American dancing continue until Shrove Tuesday when there is an enormous and very elaborate parade. On Ash Wednesday there is the burial of a huge fake sardine and this is the official end to the festivities. Carnival costumes are simply stunning and if you can it is well worth timing your visit to coincide with this enormous fiesta. Thousands of people come every year to dress up and join in the fun.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the main carnival destination but Puerto de la Cruz is also good fun.
Semana Santa (Easter Week)
Semana Santa is the Easter parade and this is a solumn but moving parade when religious brotherhoods wear traditional cloaks with pointed hoods and parade through the streets carrying a cross.
La Laguna is Tenerife's religious centre and this is the best place for the Samana Santa celebrations. La Orotava, Garachico, Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Puerto de la Cruz all have Semana Santa festivals.
Fiestas de la Cruz (Festivals of the Cross)
Taking place on the 3rd May the Festival of the Cross is one of the more beautiful. Large crosses are made and decorated with flowers and spectacular firework displays follow. Puerto de la Cruz and Los Realejos are the places to head for.
The Corpus Christi festival takes place in May/June and La Orotavais the main town to head for. Pavements are covered in pictures made of flowers or sand. These 'flower carpets' are incredibly intricate. The carpets are begun early in the morning and usually finished by early afternoon. The evening procession then walks over them! Most villages will have a smaller scale festival with their own flower or salt carpets. As well as La Orotava, La Laguna and Santa Cruz also have good Corpus Christi festivals.
Virgen del Carmen (Virgin of the Carmen)
A fishing village festival where the virgin is carried in a procession through the streets and onto a boat decorated with flowers and then a maritime procession follows. This takes place on the 16th July and is best at Puerto de la Cruz.
Fiesta de la Virgen de la Candelaria
This is one of Tenerife's bigger festivals as the Virgen de la Candelaria is the patron saint of the Canaries. This festival has been declared to be of 'National Tourist Interest'. This festival is, not suprisingly, biggest in the city of La Candelaria but happens throughout the Canary Islands. It is a week long event with masses, processions and folklore groups. The main day is August 15th.
Romeria de San Roque
Another festival of 'National Tourist Interest' the festival of San Roque comprises an image of the saint being carried to the church followed by locals in traditional dress, decorated carts and herds of animals, all this accompanied by music groups. The festival takes place in Garrachico on the 16th August.
photos kindly supplied by the Turismo de Tenerife