Sun, sea and sequins as carnival hits Tenerife

Tenerife is swimming in sequins as the annual Santa Cruz carnival comes to town, bringing the spirit of Rio to the Canary Island during six weeks of festivities.

Sun, sea and sequins as carnival hits Tenerife
Photo: Desiree Martin/AFP

The carnival, which runs from January 21st to March 8th, features orchestras playing Brazilian and Caribbean rhythms, street dances and carnival queen competitions for all age ranges.

An adult, senior and junior queen are crowned every year, the adult queen competition is televised and will take place this Wednesday, February 11th. 

Thousands of revelers descend on Santa Cruz for the carnival which was, in 1980, declared a ‘Fiesta of International Tourist Interest’.

The Carnival has been celebrated on the island of Tenerife since the early European settlement of the Canary Islands. When Spanish dictator, General Francisco Franco banned carnival celebrations throughout the country, Tenerife got around the ban by renaming the carnival ‘Winter holiday’.

Over 250,000 people take part in the carnival celebrations, dressing up, dancing in the streets and enjoying the Rio-like atmosphere that hits Tenerife once every year.

In pics: Tenerife goes carnival crazy 

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