Tenerife Carnival

Attracting visitors from around the globe, the annual Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is held every February and runs from the election of the Carnival queen to the Burial of the Sardine!



The second biggest carnival in the world

Tenerife Carnival, every February in the island’s capital Santa Cruz, isn’t any old street parade of fun and floats. This carnival is the real deal; a proper biggie.

In fact, Tenerife Carnival is second only to Rio de Janeiro is its size and scope. And popularity. People descend on the largest of the Canary Islands for the annual Carnaval de Santa Cruz from all over the world to enjoy the festivities.

Such is the scale and significance of the event in carnival world, that the city of Santa Cruz is even twinned with its illustrious Brazilian partner in fun, Rio.

The funeral of the sardine

The carnival traditionally, officially closes with a ceremony known variously as the ‘funeral of the sardine’ or the ’burial of the sardine’. 

Yes, but this ritual is not quite exactly what is says on the tin (sorry about that). Ever so slightly more low key than all those feathers, fun and flounce of the main event, but not much.

This closing fish-based interment consists of a parade of drag artists following a giant sardine, the latter being set alight to signal the end of the carnival proceedings. 

Not your average night out, granted.