The Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the most recognized carnival in Spain, which is why it has been named “Festival of National Tourist Interest” since 1980 and the second most internationally recognized carnival only behind the carnivals of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
In 2000, the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife was named World Carnival Capital and is currently striving to become a World Heritage Site, which would mean a great honour and promotion for the island.
Milestones of the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife
In Santa Cruz de Tenerife the largest meetings of people in an open-air plaza have been registered on two occasions, specifically in the emblematic Plaza de España, for the celebration of two concerts. In 2019, there were some 400,000 people who enjoyed the Juan Luis Guerra concert, and in 1987 a concert that will remain forever in the hearts of all locals, that of Celia Cruz with the Billo’s Caracas Boys orchestra.
The beginnings of the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife
The first references of the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife are from the 18th century, whose name had to be modified during the periods of dictatorships and called “Winter Festivities” to avoid its prohibition. Despite the pressures of the Franco dictatorship, it was impossible for carnivals to stop being celebrated.
One of the most relevant moments in the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife was the year 1962, in which an annual poster began to be made for each of the Carnival editions. It is worth mentioning that almost every year the poster becomes a controversial topic, since in many editions it has not been very well received by citizens.
On the other hand, it was from the year 1987 when they began to assign specific themes began to each edition of the Carnival.
Regarding the Queens of the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the first celebration of this event that has become the prelude to the carnival on the streets dates back to 1935. It is the event of greatest interest along with the murgas and it is celebrated on the Wednesday before the Carnival weekend on the streets.
A walk through the history of the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife
The best way to really know what the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is is to visit the capital of Tenerife during the days of its celebration, but if you are going to visit the island at any other time of the year, you should know that you can also visit the Casa del Carnaval (Carnival House), a museum entirely devoted to this festival of great national and international tourist interest, where you can learn about the history of the chicharrero carnival.