Update 13 February 2014: Arona has now released details of its carnaval, and so I’ve updated the post below to include the link to the programme. THIS is it.
Original post 18 November 2013: It’s not even Christmas yet, but 2014′s Carnaval – the theme is “Cartoons” – is under starter’s orders with the publication of the provisional programme. The Tenerife capital’s carnival isn’t just the largest in Tenerife, it is widely considered to be the second largest in the world, with only the world-famous Rio de Janeiro Carnaval bigger. Events take place over a month, with almost everything seeming to come to a standstill when trying to get anything done in Tenerife!One of the most keenly anticipated events, or series of events, is the murga competitions – a sort of combination of farce, satire and music (involving a type of kazoo) with outlandish costume and group singing. They are phenomenally popular and there is saturation television coverage of all the stages and groups taking part. I’ve posted videos in previous years of them, e.g. HERE. Perhaps most famous to outsiders, however, are the main parade, and the choice of carnival queen, and next year’s carnival will inevitably take place under the shadow of the terrifying experience of Saida Prieto, whose carnival queen gown was set alight in February by indoor fireworks from another contestant’s dress (link): the legal arguments and compensation issues are still ongoing, and it seems the emotional scars will understandably take much longer to heal than the physical ones.The programme for Carnaval 2014, with events lasting from 31 January to 9 March, can be viewed HERE but the main events are the election of the carnival queen on 26 February, the opening parade (cabalgata) 28 February, the closing parade (coso apoteosis) 4 March, and the burial of the sardine (entierro de la sardina) 5 March. Two other Carnavals of great local interest are held in Los Cristianos (21-31 March, theme Africa, link) and Puerto de la Cruz (20 Feb-9 March, theme “Go West”,link). Los Cristianos” opening parade is on 22 March, election of the carnival queen 27 March, with the famous burial of the sardine on the 31st. Puerto de la Cruz’ election of the carnival queen is on 27 February, the opening parade 1 March, burial of the sardine 5 March, and the closing parade 8 March. One other event in Puerto de la Cruz that’s unique to its carnaval is the high heels marathon – a sight to behold – on 7 March.