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Queen Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife (2006)

The Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is one of the biggest and most spectacular events of its kind in the World. Every February, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the capital of the largest of the Canary Islands, hosts this historical event, attracting around a million people from everywhere. Is considered the second most popular and internationally known carnival after those held in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). In fact the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is twinned with the city of Rio de Janeiro for this reason.[1][2][3][4]

In 1980 it was declared a Festival Tourist International Interest, by the Secretariat of State for the Tourism and it is one of the most important carnivals of the World. The Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife now aspires to become a World Heritage Site.[5] This declaration by UNESCO will, occur, further promoting international had Santa Cruz de Tenerife, being the first Carnival of Spain to obtain this recognition, for its permanent in time and it would reach the five continents through UNESCO. In 1987 went to the "Carnival Chicharrero" cuban singer Celia Cruz with orchestra Billo's Caracas Boys, attended by 250,000 people, was registered in the Guinness of Records as the largest gathering of people in an outdoor plaza to attend a concert, a record he holds today.

The party in the streets of Santa Cruz de Tenerife starts on the Friday before Carnival with a spectacular opening parade, which reaches its height during the night, when thousands of people in fancy dress dance until the early hours of the next day. The party continues night after night until Ash Wednesday. That day, people of Santa Cruz de Tenerife celebrate the "entierro de la sardina" (burial of the sardine) and with this event carnival is officially over. However, the party starts up again the following weekend, known as the weekend of "piñata".

It has two different parts: The Official Carnival, and the Carnival in the Street. The official one has more han a hundred groups with over fifty components each one: murgas; comparsas; rondallas and musical groups. For the Carnival in the Street, there is just the participation of the people in the party.

Thousands of people come each day to the streets to participate wearing a disguise. Dance with the local orchestra's tunes, the Caribbean rhythms, electronic music and music of the year betting throughout the night. People "hesitate" and enjoy the streets every night for over a week.



Afilarmónica NiFú-NiFá.

Although almost certainly, the Carnaval de Santa Cruz de Tenerife is celebrated from the earliest European settlement (in 1605 Gaspar Luis Hidalgo, alluded to the habit of reversing the sexes through dress), the earliest written references date from the end of s. XVIII, through the writings of visitors and then by seeking the official social order during the event.

The notes of Lope Antonio de la Guerra Peña in 1778, includes a dance held in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, where he then talked about comparsas. In 1783 one side, published by the Corregidor, the use of masks vetaba "being banned by Royal Instructions" but in practice never be met and became famous the emergence of the "hole" in the night carnavalera (upper middle class with a mask mixed with the common people). In 1891, the date the emergence for the first time a group, called "rondalla" of Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The Orfeón de Santa Cruz was founded in 1897.

During the dictatorship of Miguel Primo de Rivera (1923-1935), and General Franco (1940-1960, mostly), went to called "Winter Holidays" as a ruse to avoid the ban, despite the ban about its celebrating and that as had happened in previous centuries, continued to place in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the only place along Cádiz. At this time, in 1954, with Los Bigotudos, today known as Afilarmónica NIFU-NiFá, born the first murga. In 1976, Franco finished the period, the name "Winter Festivals" and then ends the "Carnaval" but only did the name, the party had always been present.

Since 1962 is created a poster for each edition of the Carnival. Since then, artists of the caliber of John Galarza, Gurrea, Javier Mariscal Dokoupil César Manrique Cuixart Pedro González, Fierro, Paco Martinez, Mel Ramos, Enrique Gonzalez, Maribel Nazca, Elena Lecuona and many others have done the same. The edit of 2009 would mean the beginning of the open competition to any participant in the design of the poster of the carnival.

In 1987, that would be the first year it was "focused" carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife (ancient Rome), then, a performance by Celia Cruz with orchestra Billo's Caracas Boys, attended by 250,000 people, was registered in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest congregation of people in an outdoor plaza to attend a concert, a brand that is kept at present.

The main scenarios Carnival competitions and election of the Queen, that have alternated throughout the history of "chicharrero" (gentilice) carnival were the Teatro Guimerá (until the 1985 edition), Plaza de Toros (1986, 1987 and 1988), and the central circular stage was "crowned" with a crown (forgive the repetition) silvered (1986 and 1987) and Goldened (1988), Plaza de España (2005), Centro Internacional de Ferias y Congresos de Tenerife and the esplanade of parks Parque Marítimo César Manrique(2008). The antepenultimate and penultimate places have been alternating, depending on the need of the moment and since the construction of the Centro Internacional de Ferias y Congresos de Tenerife.

Today, the tickets for different events, especially the Final Murgas Adultas Contest and The Gala of Election of the Queen, sold complete (the seating capacity over 20,000) between 15 and 60 minutes after the sale to all localities. The Gala of the Queen, with a stage spectacle that crowns the first lady of the Carnival and groups are awarded where it is broadcast each year by a national network for the entire country and broadcast via satellite to all continents. Until today, the chains that have taken over the dissemination of the event were: RTVE; Televisión Canaria, Antena 3 Televisión, Canal +; Galavisión and Telecinco.

In 2000, the carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife became Capital of the Carnival in the World and headquarters of the XX Convention of the Federation of European Carnival Cities (FECC). For closure of such a convention held in May, held an arena for the actors involved in the arena in February of that year, and the City of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, invited to participate to the same groups on the island of Gran Canaria, in particular, the groups participating in the Carnival of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.


Thematics of Carnival (and anecdotary)

Coso Puerto de la Cruz, Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife (2008)
  • 1987 - Rome: It was the first year that the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, was "themed" .For this, the perimeter of the Plaza de España was surrounded by a colonnade, united in pairs, which evoked the Ionic style, giving the appearance of a circular Roman temple. The portal of the lintel of each pair of columns, was adorned by two Atlantic horse mackerel (chicharros) crowned with laurels. It was the year when the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife entered the Guinness Book of World Records.
  • 1988 - Wild World: The colonnade of the previous year was recycled, painted in salmon and topped with white palm leaves made from fiberglass, giving the appearance of palm trees. Every two or three "palms" are available on platforms that are reproductions of wearing costumes carnival Queens of previous editions, produced in white fiberglass. For the occasion, it was on a pedestal on which stood a King Kong by a master "Fallero".
  • 1989 - Millennial Egypt: The Plaza de España began to host the main stage for the holidays, leaving from this year the Plaza de Toros ostracized. The stage was decorated with two large sphinxes and through a gate linteled which evoke an Egyptian temple or palace.
  • 1990 - The world of the story: The scene of the Plaza de España was having an "air story" child divided the set into two parts. On the one hand the "positive" with a house with a smiling face and the other the "negative", darkening, Terminboerse, which a tree whose branches shaped hands branches, in tribute to the movie Poltergeist.
  • 1991 - The Space: The tower of the Plaza de España was integrated like a part of the scenery, transforming it into a kind of giant telecommunications stellar antenna. Dominated by metal, neon lights and laser light.
  • 1992 - Cinema: The stage of the Plaza de España evoqued the decorates of "westerns"
  • 1993 - The Circus: The stage was extended to almost half the surface of the square. He was the first year of Antena 3 Television was responsible for the signal distribution and promotion of the Queen Gala nationally and internationally (by Antena 3 Internacional), until then it was responsible for RTVE, well through TVE1; and La2 TVE Internacional.
  • 1994 - The Atlantida:
  • 1995 - The Thousand and One Nights: The grounds of the Arab story, adorned the stage of the Plaza de España, but were inspired real reason the movie Aladdin.
  • 1996 - Mexico: The main stage of the Carnival, he moved to the newly opened Centro Internacional de Ferias y Congresos de Tenerife. It was the first year that wanted "theatricality" to the presentation of the show, therefore, the set evokes a neighborhood of Mexico, where the presenters/actors into their roles, which are loaded of negative topics about Mexican peolple: "drunk, lazy and violent". This gala was invited to the Consul of Mexico and it was broadcasted to America through Galavision and was broadcasted for Spain by Telecinco. The disaster was such that it was about to create a diplomatic conflict (in this circumstances, which were normal), and Televisa, in turn closed its delegation in Tenerife which was held by Canal 7 del Atlántico (ECO Noticias). The stage was at one side of the building, and candidates had to pass through a gateway at the other side of the building to reach it. A miscalculation in the construction of the bridge, caused to be placed a small ramp to the absence of a step between the gateway and the stage and the result was that the queen candidates needed help to enter the scene after crossing the footbridge, due to the weight and volume of the suits could not go up that little ramp. The event was stellar performance by Enrique Iglesias.
  • 1997 - Prehistory: The scene was nothing more than a rocky mountain made of papier mache in the center of the Centro Internacional de Ferias y Congresos de Tenerife.
  • 1998 - The Middle Ages: The scene of that year has the shape of a medieval castle with flags, coats of arms and colored conical roofs.
  • 1999 - The world of comics: This was a return to Plaza de España, with a scene where superheroes represented. Highlighted an especide of Captain America, known as "Super Chicha," and a giant bust of Lara Croft.
  • 2000 - Pirates: A pirate galleon was the center around which distributed the rest of the set (palm trees, islands, beaches, waves ;...).
  • 2001 - Space Odyssey: A spaceship was off the main character of the scenery of the Plaza de España.
  • 2002 - The happy 20's: The scene of the Plaza de España was decorated with motifs themselves modernists of the first two decades of the twentieth century.
  • 2003 - The Far East (China): The central scenario of the Plaza de España was occupied by a Chinese temple in red. After it was a papier mache sculpture of Buddha, which had to be withdrawn by protests by the Buddhist community of Tenerife, because as they explained, it was as if they organize a party that has nothing to do with religion, with a crucified Christ as an ornament or decoration of the main stage for this party. The main streets of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, were decorated with red and gold and Chinese lanterns.
  • 2004 - Celia Cruz: The stage of the Plaza de España was decorated as a kind of neighborhood of Cuba, with a neon that read "Celia Cruz" in blue.
  • 2005 - The Hollywood Musicals: The stage of the Spanish Steps was inspired by the aesthetics of Hollywood musicals in black and white.
  • 2006 - Tribes: The stage was again transferred to the Centro Internacional de Ferias y Congresos de Tenerife, going to have two scenarios: one primary and secondary, joined by a footbridge. The decoration of both was based on graffiti and "web icons". It was originally intended to target the "urban tribes" (claims, punks, hippies, ...), but was given a general tone of "tribes", so people did not know if they were on tribes or right of tribes and villages throughout the world in general.
  • 2007 - Fashion: Known as "Bitter Carnival", due to the negative role that was acquired by the director of this years Gala Election of the Queen: Rafael Amargo ("Amargo" in Spanish means bitter) and the actual show itself.
  • 2008 - Magic: The stage was moved to the parking esplanade of the Parque Marítimo César Manrique. The decor was inspired by the struggle of good and evil (white magic and black magic), incorporating motives of The Neverending Story, The Lord of Rings and Harry Potter.
  • 2009 - The Horror Film: Known as "The Anti-crisis Carnival". To do so, moved the main stage at the Centro Internacional de Ferias y Congresos de Tenerife, with a flat terrain, without any carved or modeled. The same decoration was based on large format canvases printed with traditional motifs of the first films of the horror film-inspired elements of Ed Wood, Nosferatu. As a curiosity, the "Ave Satani" (hymn satanic), was heard several times in the introduction of the gala.
  • 2010 - Tenerife, carnival history: At first the theme was "History of Mankind", but after the policy change in the city the subject was changed to "Tenerife, story of a carnival."

Controversy by noise

Costume Miss Peggy and la rana Gustavo

In January 2006 a group of neighbors of Santa Cruz de Tenerife filed a complaint with the Administrative Dispute, supported by eight community buildings and ten residents of the area known as the "ring" (middle of the festivities), in asking for suspension of Acts of Carnival in the city center. Several volunteer groups carnavaleros decided in the lawsuit to seek damages. The City Council gave its claim at least 180 million euros to meet the collateral damage. Finally according to the indictment, "the generic request for suspension of the carnival is in no way excessive and could be subject to a full assessment. It is obvious that the carnival is composed of a plurality of events, the adequacy of social discomfort and noise both have separate ratings according to the social reality of the time that the rules must be applied for, as the public prosecutor warns, not all such actions have the same capacity to undermine fundamental rights and therefore that in no way justifies the request for suspension of Carnival because of the violation of fundamental rights. " The order added that broke the principle of good faith by failing to notify the Town Hall, Bury andalusia shortly before the Carnival and go to the comprehensive set of actions. Just that left the door open to further demand. That same year, a storm that caused Tenerife punished for the first time, the suspension of the apotheosis of Carnival chicharrero.

This decision was appealed by the neighbors before the Board of Administrative Disputes Tribunal Superior de Justicia de Canarias (TSJC), which resolved the violation of fundamental rights by the Carnival of 2006 and 2007. In the legal basis of the fifth sentence, was not considered appropriate precautionary suspension. However, the TSJC said "in no case" noise in the night life can exceed 55 decibels and that the City should take the necessary steps to control it while moving, if necessary, "the evening activities to residential areas" [1]. On Thursday, February 8, 2007, a judge of the Administrative Dispute No. 1 in the capital, suspended on a precautionary night dances that were held in the center, as it violates the fundamental rights of neighbors. On Monday, February 12, 2007, after the reunion with the parties that were irreconcilable positions, the court declared inadmissible the suspension of acts of Carnival in the streets. The reason is that this was already resolved by the year 2007 by a 2006 ruling of the Chamber for Contentious Administrative Tribunal Superior de Justicia de Canarias.

New Holiday Act

The Parliament of the Canary Islands in an extraordinary meeting, unanimously approved the February 14, 2007 a new law, publication and entry inmediatily into effect a new regulation about popular festivals in the Canary Islands. In this way, the new law allows municipalities to establish, through a municipal ordinance, the dates on which the legislation on environmental noise does not apply because it is contrary to public interest. In this way, the canary legislative ditch the issue of noise at parties and allowing them holding hands closing the courts to citizens, as from its entry into force can not be challenged before the ordinary court.

Events by days

The weeks preceding the Wednesday of the election of the Queen of Carnival, there are contests for adults and children "comparsas", lyrical and musical groups, "rondallas", "Queen of the Elderly", "Queen Child", "Song of Laughter" and "murgas" adults and children. Also choose the official song of carnival, which will be presented to Queen Adult candidates in the noble hall of the City Council. Also, the festival takes place "choreography contest", the "costume contest" that rewards the most original floats and decorated cars. Almost a month earlier, everything starts with the official presentation at "Calle de La Noria". Shortly before Christmas, reveals what the poster of the Carnival, always subject of controversy among "chicharreros" (gentilice of people of Santa Cruz de Tenerife).

Wednesday: Gala Election of the Queen of Carnival

The Wednesday before the weekend of the Carnival, the Queen of the Carnival is elected on a gala that is usually broadcast to the entire country, in addition to the broadcast satellite. During the gala, parade of candidates for the main stage. A jury composed of members of the municipal corporation and celebrities will be in charge of choosing the queen. In recent years, is also a vote via sms. After choosing the bridesmaids, the mayor handed the scepter to the winner. The suits weigh an average of 150-200 pounds so the candidates will help to transport tractors. The price of clothing is very high, so they must have a sponsor, usually one of the multinational is having an establishment in the island. The Hogar Canario Venezolano also sends its own Queen and holds a privileged position on the next Announcement Parade. The dresses are usually made of feathers, plastic, metal and paper. The queen is responsible for representing the carnival in different tourism fairs to seek a representation of Canary Islands.

Friday: The Announcement Parade

The Friday takes place The Announcement Parade, in which all carnival groups through the main thoroughfares of the city "announcing" the arrival of the carnival. Begins at "Parque La Granja", concluding at the "Plaza de España". Crossing the Ramblas, Avenida Islas Canarias, Plaza Weyler, Méndez Núñez to return to Las Ramblas and then turn the Avenida Anaga and ends at the Plaza de Europa or the building of the Council of Tenerife. The queen and the bridesmaids on their own floats, escorted by the carnival groups: the murgas, rondallas. Private carriages are also involved in the parade. More than four hours to the sound of batucada and other Latin rhythms. At the end, well into the night, the carnival officially begins on the streets.

Saturday of Carnival

The Saturday of carnival is a day dedicated entirely to dance. There are two main scenarios: one in the Plaza de la Candelaria (replacing the one in Plaza de España remodeling it) and one in the Plaza del Príncipe. Depending on the special holiday, the option is to mount one or more stage in the Plaza de Europa (gay area), or tents in the Plaza de la Iglesia de la Concepción (electronic music) and in the Plaza de Europa. These groups are usually of Latin music. Dances not only cover the three points but all the connecting streets, bars and streets filled with cars with his own music. One of the main streets of the carnival is the street "Bethencourt Afonso" popularly known as "Calle San José."

Monday of Carnival (Lunes de Carnaval)

This is the Big Day of the feast, with stellar performances in the main sites located in the capital. From 2009 the scene of the Plaza de la Candelaria is home to the Santa Cruz Dance Carnival, an event of electronic music that in its first edition had the performers of the DJ's Armand Van Helden, Ron Carroll, DJ Craze, Roger Sanchez, DJ Dario, Real El Canario and DJ Ser.

Tuesday: The Great Apotheosis "Coso" (Parade)

On Tuesday of Carnival, happens The Great Apotheosis Coso, a parade that runs along the Avenida de Anaga, and that marks the end of the Carnival officially. Again parading carnival groups, floats, decorated cars and Queens of Carnival, in the afternoon in a show held especially for tourists, arriving by bus from the tourist areas of the Canary Islands.

Ash Wednesday: The Burial of the Sardine

The Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, it is celebrate "The Burial of the Sardine". The streets of Santa Cruz is mourning dresing with crepes in order to go along with a giant sardine made with paper, in its last times before being fired. During the funeral marche, Durante el recorrido, it could hear the desperate cries for the death of the sardine by the widows. It also highlights the mockery of the Church with many participants dressed as popes, bishops and nuns imitating blessings and other religious rites in many cases accompanied by sexual objects, especially phallic. A few years ago, the decision of the Hall of Santa Cruz de Tenerife to relocate the burial of the sardine the following Friday, making it coincide with the arrival of a cruise tour to the city, sparked a controversy that led some groups to arrange an Alternative Funeral of the Sardine on Wednesday, replacing the burning of the sardine, by placing candles at the monument of The Chicharro in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

Saturday & Sunday of Piñata

It is the weekend that puts an end to "Don Carnal" until the next year and whose role, especially on Saturday, has grown in recent decades to the point of having some action internationally renowned almost the same level as itself "Monday of Carnival".

  • Saturday of "Piñata" (Sábado de Piñata): From the 2008 edition, it was established the Carnival by Day, although in its first edition had to be moved to following Sunday because inclement weather. From 12:00 to 16:00 hours, it is celebrating with simultaneous musical performances at least three scenarios distributed through the center of the city: Plaza Weyler, Plaza del Príncipe, and Plaza de la Candelaria.
  • Sunday of Piñata (Domingo de Piñata): in the Sunday morning meetings of the Old Cars Contest and the traditional performance of the Afilarmónica NIFU-NiFá and lyrical group winner of this edition at Plaza del Príncipe. The carnival is farewell at night with a fireworks display.


  • Adult "Murgas" Contest: It is the main contest in the Carnival, where "murgas" singing the best of his repertoire. The audience goes to camp at the box office to get a good seat.
  • Kids Murgas Contest: A child's version of Adult Murgas Contest, where participants are under 18 years.
  • Music groups: Quiz in which groups perform musical rhythms with clear inspiration Caribbean.
  • Groups of the 3rd Age: It's more oriented to the interpretation of issues related to the Canarian folklore, whose members belong to what he calls "3rd age".
  • "Rondalla" and Cluster Lyric Contest: It takes place either in or on the Teatro Guimerá or Auditorio de Tenerife (depending on the availability of the building). This contest comes to be the cultural part of the Carnival of the "chicharrero" Carnival, which interpret the themes of Spanish poetry, opera and the zarzuela.
  • Adult Choreographies Competition: For the occasion, amateur people mounts choreographies as if it were music for ballets.
  • Kids Choreographies Competition: Children's version of the Adult Choreographies Competition contest.
  • Adult Comparsas: The awards presentation and choreography on stage.
  • Kids Comparsas: Children's version of the contest Adult Comparsas
  • Rhythm and Harmony: This is where the "comparasas" shows itself as such, and does parading and dancing to the beat of the batucada on the Avenida Anaga.
  • Competition floats.
  • The Song of Laughter (La canción de la Risa): It began in 2005 and its purpose is to reward the song and staging more fun created for the occasion. The theme is free. Held at the Teatro Guimerá. In its first edition, went to "Los Hijos de Buda", with a very ironic song about the Spanish Royal Family.

See also


External links


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