Carnival of Tenerife 2024
Get ready for the most exciting and colourful celebration of the year in the Canary Islands! The 2024 Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is almost here, and with it comes a month full of festivities, music, dancing and, of course, amazing carnival parades. From the inauguration gala on 12 January to the exciting Burial of the Sardine on 14 February, this Carnival promises a trip full of fun and joy that is not to be missed. In this blog, we will guide you through the key dates and the most exciting events of this iconic celebration, so you can be ready to immerse yourself in the magic of Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
Programme of Carnival of Tenerife 2024
As soon as the new year rolls around, the Canary Islands start getting ready to give full reign to one of the most highly anticipated celebrations: the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. From 12 January, the city transforms into a stage of joy, music and colour, marking the beginning of a party that captivates both locals and visitors alike. The first weeks of the year are witness to an unleashing of creativity and fun with children’s murgas (musical theatre shows), the Choreography Festival and the exciting crowning of the Senior Carnival Queen. Get your calendar and your best costumes ready because in January, Tenerife is decked out for Carnival season.
- 12 January: Carnival Opening Ceremony.
- 18 to 20 January: Children’s Murgas Contest Phases.
- 21 January: Choreography Festival.
- 22 to 24 January: First, Second and Third Phases of the Adult Murgas Contest.
- 26 January: Murgas Contest Final
- 27 January: Musical Groups Contest and Crowning of the First Children’s Queen.
- 31 January: Senior Queen Crowning Gala.
The Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife reaches its climax in February and the city is filled with a festive spirit that is hard to find elsewhere. From the Comedy Song Contest to the spectacular Queen Gala and the opening parade that initiates the massive celebration – every day promises infinite excitement and entertainment. The Daytime Carnival, el Coso, the International Body Art Competition and the endearing Burial of the Sardine mark some of the most memorable moments. If you still haven’t been to Carnival of Tenerife in February, you’ve got an unforgettable experience full of music, dancing and contagious joy ahead of you. Join the fun and immerse yourself in Tenerife Carnival magic!
- 2 February: Concurso de la Risa (Comedy Song Contest).
- 3 February: Comparsas Contest.
- 4 February: Costume Contest and Rondallas Competition (Interpretative Musical Groups)
- 6 February: Opening Concert with Los Fregolinos.
- 7 February: Crowning of the Carnival Queen.
- 8 February: Zarzuela Festival.
- 9 February: Opening Carnival Parade.
- 10 February: Rhythm and Harmony Contest and First Day of Carnival.
- 11 February: Second Day of Carnival.
- 12 February: Carnival Monday.
- 13 February: Coso (Big Carnival Parade) and International Body Art Competition.
- 14 February: Burial of the Sardine.
- 15 February: Rondallas Festival.
- 16 February: Children’s Coso.
- 17 February: Carnival Piñata (Second Daytime Carnival).
- 18 February: Final day with Ni Fú-Ni Fá, Los Fregolinos, Dog Parade and Chirimurgas Night.
History and tradition of Carnival on the island
The origins of the Carnival of Tenerife date back to the sixteenth century. The Canaries was a regular stop along the spread of European culture in the New World. This made it possible for it to be introduced on the islands, bit by bit. Just two hundred years later, it was already very famous.
Since its beginnings, it has been characterised by its focus on street activity. So it has always been just as popular among the wealthy classes as well as the town’s folk.
The tradition of using masks, however, came about in the 19th century. The women in high society used them to enjoy the celebrations without being recognised. During the 20th century, its popularity attracted a large number of tourists. From 1925, events like Las Murgas, Las Comparsas, the group contests and Las Rondallas came into being, which now characterise the festival.
Did you know that thousands of Tenerife residents rehearse for six month a year to have everything ready? The importance of this event is such that the Casa de Carnaval even stays open all year round.
Main events and celebrations of Carnival
The crowning gala of the queen of the Carnival of Tenerife is the most symbolic and acclaimed event. In addition, Tenerife Carnival-goers also especially cherish other traditional acts:
- Coso apoteosis day. This event involves the largest display of colour, rhythm and joy of these celebrations. It is summed up by a parade of floats, residents and groups known as comparsas that play lively music.
- The burial of the sardine. This takes place on Ash Wednesday and it involves a very characteristic aura of irreverence and carefree spirit. The widow’s sob and lament the approaching end of the Carnival.
- Daytime Carnival and Piñata weekend. These events are the culmination and golden conclusion in which we say goodbye to Don Carnival.
Outfits and design
The Carnival of Tenerife is the epitome of imagination and creativity. During the gala of the crowning of the queen, thousands of feathers and sequins come together in totally unique textile creations. Some of the costumes can reach three metres in height and 400 kilos in weight.
People’s imaginations also skyrocket both in their costumes as well as in the props used in processions, parades and street gatherings of participants. There’s no doubt that design is one of the distinguishing features of Tenerife Carnival.
How to take part and experience Carnival
Due to the public nature and street-focus of Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, getting involved in this unique celebration is easy. That being said, we recommend following the lead of those around you: choose a good costume (or at least a mask) to have as much fun as possible.
When roaming the streets, you will come across a large number of musical shows, parades, processions, people enjoying themselves and tons of fun.
The Murgas Contest is certainly worth attending, an event that is as unique as it is memorable. These groups interpreting satirical songs put on a spectacle that’s sure to keep you entertained. In any case, the fun doesn’t stop from day to night.
Come to Carnival de Tenerife
Would you like to have an unforgettable experience at Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife? Think ahead and book as soon as possible to lock in excellent accommodation on these key dates.
You can do this now by visiting our website. At Sansofé Stay, we are specialists in holiday rentals in the north of Tenerife. What kind of accommodation are you looking for? You can stay in your ideal Tenerife apartment, chalet, villa or residential space.
If you’re set on staying in a luxurious, welcoming area full of facilities, you can combine fun and celebration with a refreshing break at the end of each day. Thanks to our wide range of holiday accommodation in Tenerife, you will find exactly what you’re looking for. Don’t hesitate: book now and come to Carnival of Tenerife as soon as possible. It will be one of the best experiences of your life!