Carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife

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Santa Cruz de Tenerife has been long famous for its Carnival activities.  Recently their goal has been to turn Carnaval into a more family-friendly event, and I think it is working beautifully.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe arrived for “Carnival Day” which started in the early afternoon, and was abounding with people of all ages.  We met a woman dancing around with her 20-day-old baby, in matching costumes.  It felt wonderful to see families including their kids in an event with dancing and alcohol, instead of hiding it from them.


2015’s theme was futuristic, so many were dressed as astronauts and aliens.  We also saw a significant amount of cross-dressers, as well as people dressed as snails, pigs, sailors, clowns, Medieval people, cowboys and natives, cavemen, and Fat Americans (complete with fake stomachs and American flags).

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Some wore bright-colored clothes and neon wigs, but weren’t necessarily dressed as anything specific.  Others were just in their everyday attire.

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In American street events, the spectators are usually standing on the side while the parade goes down the middle.  In Tenerife, there were groups of dancers & musicians parading around, but it wasn’t on one particular path, and the everyday people were all parading and dancing as well.  It was like a mix of Halloween and Mardi Gras in one (technically Carnaval and Mardi Gras are the same holiday, but Carnaval lasts for much longer, and for some reason doesn’t end on Ash Wednesday – we were there the following weekend and the party was still going)!

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