This tradition of eating every last bit of meat in the house before the arrival of Lent has long changed from an evening of gastronomical celebration to a much longer gala that allows for any flight of imagination to be translated into a most colorful reality. Almost every town of Tenerife holds a carnival that can put to shame most other carnivals and spins Tenerife from an island paradise to an island of riotous fun where anything goes and nothing is crazy or unimaginable enough. However, the largest Carnival in Tenerife and second only to the carnival at Rio is the Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival. While spending money here will be no challenge at all, enjoying this carnival on a tighter budget might be a little tricky. Here are some tips to help you do just that
1. Mogollones open air parties
Attend one of the several Mogollones taking place all over the city for an incredible open air party. Various live entertainment shows keep the party happening while live music, both salsa and Latino fill up the streets. Starting from around eleven at night the music plays non-stop till dawn or till the last pair of dancing feet tire. A carnival party at its best and a great way to enjoy the spirit of the carnival without emptying your pockets.
2. Cabalgata Grande Parade
The Grand Parade or the Cabalgata is the largest parade of the carnival. You can enjoy this procession sitting on any terrace on the route. Some of the most vibrant costumes can be seen here. Dance troupes that have been rehearsing for months for this event let all their inhibitions fly as they dance with complete abandon. In this one parade alone you can also see the winners of several of the carnival competitions sitting on top of the floats. This one event is like the summation of the entire carnival and therefore an essential to-do on every visitor’s list.
3. The crowning of the Carnival Queen
Even though it is ticketed, the best way to enjoy the grandest show of the whole carnival, the crowning of the Carnival Queen is to see it in person and it’s an expense worth making. The women are all beautiful. However, the costumes, which are sometimes so large that they are fitted with wheels to enable those wearing them to move around, are the real crowd pullers. (The cheaper way to enjoy this would be to watch it on the local television channel and to then catch the winning costume in the Grand Parade or in the exhibition.)
4. A trip to church
After you are done with all the partying and the Sardine is buried to signify the end of the carnival take a trip to church. Here you’ll find the locals putting to rest their costumes, drag costumes and otherwise, and making their peace with the almighty before the pious period of lent begins.
If costumes seem too expensive just drag out an old fishnet and buy a cheap wig and leave all inhibitions behind. This could be the best party of your life!
Photo of the Carnival of Tenerife, Spain by A. www.viajar24h.com