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Tenerife Carnival 2022, Santa Cruz

June 3 - June 26

carnivals around the world santa cruz carnival 2019

They sure know how to throw a fiesta in Spain, and the annual Tenerife Carnival (Carnaval de Santa Cruz de Tenerife) is a shining example of a pumping party. As Tenerife’s alternative to the Sitges Carnival, this is a feast of colour, music, dance and a dazzling array of extravagance.

Festivities kick off with the Gala Reina – selection of the Carnival Queens – on the first Wednesday of the fiesta. This features a line-up of girls adorning a flurry of feathers, ruffles and beads strutting their stuff on stage. After the winner is chosen, a parade announcing the official start of carnival takes place on the Friday.

Tenerife Carnival
Join the carnival in Tenerife

Alternative side competitions include children and senior’s Carnival Queen, and the flamboyant Drag Queen of Carnival – a top carnival attractions so get tickets quick.

For the next three days, the streets are flooded with thousands of festival-goers watching the various bands, musicians and performers that set up shop throughout Santa Cruz. A rainbow of colour passes through the city in a series of parades, and bodies swing to the sounds of Latin and salsa music.

Thousands gather to watch the parades that mark Carnival Tuesday, or el Coso. And celebrations are officially rounded out the next day with the Burial of the Sardine. A giant effigy of the fish – said to contain the spirit of the carnival – is carried through the streets and set on fire.

santa cruz carnival
Burial of the Sardine

However, for the carnival in Tenerife they like to keep the party going a little longer, rounding off the 15 days of fun with Piñata Chica celebrations at the weekend. This features a spectacle of shows, dances and more parades.

Tenerife Carnival History

The Carnival is a religious annual celebration and Santa Cruz’s outing is considered by some as the world’s second-best after the Rio Carnival. Written documents date back to the early-17th century and describe carnival-type fever erupting on the streets of the island’s capital.

The celebration has even defied bans. During the Miguel Primo de Rivera (1923-1935) and General Franco (1940-1960) dictatorships, the festival was officially banned. Despite this it carried on under the guise of Winter Holiday. In 1980, the festivities were officially bestowed the title of Tourist Festival of International Interest.

Can’t make this carnival, then try our round-up of the best carnivals around the world.

santa cruz carnival

When is the Tenerife Carnival 2022?

It’s from 3 to 26 June. The programme is here.

Programme for the Tenerife Carnival


This year’s theme is the deep sea. Among this year’s carnival highlights are:

  • Carnival Queen Election Gala (10 June)
  • Opening Parade (24 June)
  • Daytime Carnival and Rhythm & Harmony Party (26 June)
  • The Burial of the Sardine.

Carnival Queen Election Gala: the queen is chosen from more than a dozen candidates. Contestants wear spectacular costumes weighing up to 400 kg.

The Opening Parade features murga street music groups, comparsa bands and rondallas playing traditional carnival songs in a parade through Santa Cruz.

Daytime Carnival + Rhythm & Harmony Party: closing ceremony with floats, dance troupes and marching bands.

Accommodation in Santa Cruz

If you are looking for accommodation during the Santa Cruz Carnival, please fill in the form below.


For more information on the Santa Cruz Carnival

Click here. You can also download the Carnival App at: www.carnavaldetenerife.comPhotos provided by Ayuntamiento de Santa Cruz and the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.


June 3
June 26
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Let the adventure begin.