All EOS blogs All Spain blogs  Start your own blog Start your own blog 

Still Discovering Spain...

Here for over 25 years and I still discover new things every day...

Tenerife Carnival
Thursday, February 23, 2023 @ 2:03 PM

Tenerife Carnival is second only to Rio de Janeiro. It is famous all over the world for its colourful and vibrant celebrations and parties. Here is everything you need to know about celebrating carnival in Tenerife.


Street parties, parades, costumes and drag queen contests. Tenerife has it all! Amongst all the chaos that is a carnival, it can be a bit overwhelming to figure out what to see and do. This guide has everything you need to know about celebrating carnival in Tenerife.

The Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival is a pre-Lenten carnival that takes place over an entire month. The main week of carnival is the week prior to Ash Wednesday when the celebration kicks into high gear. During this week businesses shut down and everyone heads out to party.



The 2023 Tenerife Carnival dates are Friday, 17 February 2023 and Sunday, 26 February 2023. The main carnival activities take place from February 15 to February 26, 2023.

So you still have a few days left, if not put it in your calendar for next year!


Main Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival Celebrations

Wednesday, February 15, 2023 – The Queens Gala
Friday, February 17, 2023 – The Opening Parade and Street Carnival
Sunday, February 19, 2023 – The First Daytime Carnival
Tuesday, February 21, 2023 – Grand Carnival Parade
Wednesday, February 22, 2023 – The Burial of the Sardine Parade
Saturday, February 25, 2023 – The Second Daytime Carnival


Santa Cruz de Tenerife also known as Santa Cruz is located on the northeast coast of the island of Tenerife. Tenerife belongs to the Canary Islands, which is a Spanish archipelago located in the Atlantic Ocean about 1300 kilometres from the mainland of Spain and about 210 kilometres off the northwestern coast of Africa.

Every year more than 250,000 people head to Tenerife to the gorgeous capital city of Santa Cruz to celebrate carnival! The Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival claims to be the second most popular carnival in the world after Rio. It was however voted the Carnival Capital of the World beating Rio, Notting Hill and New Orleans!

The Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival dates back hundreds of years. It is the quintessential party in the Canary Islands and the most anticipated date of the year. While most of Europe celebrates carnival in the winter Tenerife is the warmest place in all of Spain, so its gorgeous warm weather makes it the perfect place to celebrate carnival!

Tenerife Carnival is inescapable! It’s when the whole city gets wild and lets loose. The carnival begins with several competitions like awards for the best Murgas (musical troupes) and many other singing and dancing competitions. There is also the crowning of the Carnival Queens.

After the crowning of the Carnival Queens is when the party begins in Tenerife. For two weeks the streets of Tenerife are filled with colour, costumes and joy. Tenerife Carnival is jam-packed with numerous parades, shows, concerts, masquerade balls, and non-stop parties.

Everyone both young and old gets into costume and hits up the streets of Tenerife for long nights filled with lots of feasting, socialising, dancing and an insane amount of drinking. The motto of Tenerife Carnival is that “no two carnivals are equal!”.

The origins of the Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival date back to the 15th century. Carnival was brought to the island after the Spanish Conquest in 1492. Like most carnivals, it was the last chance for a feast and giving into excess before Lent.

In the 19th century, Tenerife Carnival has become more official and the first competitions were added to the carnival. Masquerading had also become popular, allowing one to become anonymous so they could hide their social class or take part in some anonymous debauchery.

The first official Tenerife Carnival to be organised by the city was in 1925. However, shortly afterwards during the Franco dictatorship, attempts were made to cancel the carnival. The celebrations continued, just under the name “winter parties”. However, when Franco died in 1980, the carnival returned to its original name.

The 2023 theme for Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival is New York! One of the world’s most iconic cities provides plenty of inspiration, think of its symbols – the Statue of Liberty, Skyscrapers, Big Apple, yellow taxis. There are so many iconic celebrities from Frank Sinatra to Jay Z. So many movies and tv shows have been based here. Then there is the food, the pretzel, hotdog or pizza.


Like 0


Leave a comment

You don't have to be registered to leave a comment but it's quicker and easier if you are (and you also can get notified by email when others comment on the post). Please Sign In or Register now.

Name *
Spam protection: 
Your comment * (HTML not allowed)
(Items marked * are required)


This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse you are agreeing to our use of cookies. More information here. x