Tenerife Carnival 2021 is SUSPENDED

tenerife carnival
The biggest carnival in the Canary Islands is the Carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife

The carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the largest event of this kind happening in the Canary Islands and in Spain as well. It is actually the second largest carnival in the world and it is considered by many the best carnival, with the best atmosphere and friendly street parties. 

Unfortunately, in 2021, the island of Tenerife will not be able to celebrate its beloved carnival. 

Tenerife Carnival 2021 is SUSPENDED.

The carnival usually lasts for several weeks, but the first weeks are usually dedicated to indoor events and competitions where the queen of the carnival is elected. The last part of the carnival is when the outdoor parties happen, the big parade and also the burning and burial of the sardine.

In the context of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the authorities in Santa Cruz de Tenerife have announced on October 8, 2020, that the 2021 edition of the Carnival in Tenerife will be suspended, because it would be impossible to maintain the safety rules during the celebration of the streets parties, with the hundreds of thousands of people who usually flood the streets of Santa Cruz.

So the usual street parties and events on the streets of Santa Cruz de Tenerife will be suspended in 2021. The mayor of Santa Cruz has announced that they will organize a tribute Gala that will be televised in order to maintain the spirit of the carnival alive until the next edition.

The mayor of Santa Cruz de Tenerife explained that the sanitary circumstances don't allow for the usual celebration of the events in the free manner like the people are used to. The main attraction of the carnival in Tenerife derives from its notorious street parties and no one would understand a carnival without them.

“Therefore - he continued - Santa Cruz de Tenerife will not celebrate the next edition of Carnival in the way we have been used to celebrating it for 60 years. We cannot celebrate it in the same way as always with thousands of people from here and abroad ”.

carnaval santa cruz parade
Amazing costumes at the parade in Tenerife

TENERIFE CARNIVAL WILL RETURN TO THE STREETS OF SANTA CRUZ

If you want to come to one of the future editions of the carnival, read in our article below the detailed info about the usual celebrations, daily events and costumes. 

How to Celebrate the Carnival in Tenerife

The first thing you need to understand about the carnival if that this is a big celebration, comprised of several types of events, which take place over the duration of a month. 

For example, at first, you have several events for the Election of the Tenerife Carnival Queen, then you have an Opening Parade (Announcement Parade), several days of street parties in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, followed by the big Carnival Parade (Coso de Carnaval) and the Burial of the Sardine. 

If you want to celebrate like the locals, then you have to participate in at least one night of carnival party and at least one Daytime Carnival in Santa Cruz, also known as the Sábado de Piñata.

The Daytime Carnival is the event that draws the largest crowds of people to Santa Cruz de Tenerife, to celebrate the carnival all day long - it is estimated that in 2019, there were 400 000 people celebrating the carnival on the streets of Santa Cruz, which would mean a world record for the largest gathering of people watching a concert in a public square.

Tenerife Carnival Queen

The carnival in Tenerife usually has several candidates for the title of Carnival Queen, for all three categories: Carnival Queen - the phase for Young adults, candidates for Elderly Queen and candidates for the kids' Queen.

Schedule of Events for Tenerife Carnival

 The most important events happen on the streets when the big parties take place and the city center of Santa Cruz comes to life every day and night with music and dancing.  

tenerife carnival
Don't miss the parade in Santa Cruz, where you will see some amazing carnival costumes

Main Events at the Carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife

  • The big Carnival Parade in Santa Cruz de Tenerife
  • Burial of the Sardine - Entierro de la Sardina
  • Daytime Carnival / Carnaval de Dia
Whale watching tenerife 600x250

Friday

  • Inaugural Gala Tenerife Carnival 2021
  • Time: 21:30 h
  • Location: Plaza Alisios (next to Auditorio de Tenerife Adán Martín)

Thursday 

  • 1st Phase of Competition for Murgas Infantiles
  • Time: 19:00 h
  • Where: Centro Internacional de Ferias and Congresos

Friday

  • 2nd Phase of the Competition for Murgas Infantiles
  • Time: 19:00 h
  • Where: Centro Internacional de Ferias and Congresos

Saturday 

  • 3rd Phase of the Competition for Murgas Infantiles
  • Time: 19:00 h
  • Where: Centro Internacional de Ferias and Congresos

Sunday 

  • Choreographic Festival
  • Time: 17:00 h
  • Where: Centro Internacional de Ferias and Congresos

Monday 

  • 1st Phase of the Competition for Murgas Adultas
  • Time: 20:30 h
  • Where: Centro Internacional de Ferias and Congresos
Whale watching tenerife 600x250

Tuesday 

  • 2nd Phase of the Competition for Murgas Adultas
  • Time: 20:30 h
  • Where: Centro Internacional de Ferias and Congresos

Wednesday 

  • 3rd Phase of the Competition for Murgas Adultas
  • Time: 20:30 h
  • Where: Centro Internacional de Ferias and Congresos

Friday 

  • The final of the Competition for Murgas Adultas
  • Time: 20:30 h
  • Where: Centro Internacional de Ferias and Congresos

Saturday 

  • Competition for Musical Groups
  • Time: 20:00 h
  • Where: Centro Internacional de Ferias and Congresos

Sunday

  • Gala for the Election of the Kids Queen
  • Time: 18:00 h
  • Where: Centro Internacional de Ferias and Congresos

Wednesday 

  • Gala for the Election of the Carnival Queen
  • Time: 17:30 h
  • Where: Centro Internacional de Ferias and Congresos

Friday 

  • Competition La Canción de la Risa
  • Time: 20:30 h
  • Where: Teatro Guimerá

Saturday 

  • Competition of Comparsas
  • Time: 20:00 h
  • Where: Centro Internacional de Ferias and Congresos

Sunday 

  • Festival de Rondallas
    • Time: 17:00 h
    • Location: Auditorio de Tenerife
  • Costume Competition
    • Time: 11:00h
    • Location: Centro Internacional de Ferias y Congresos

Tuesday

  • Concert of the Group Lírico Musical Los Fregolinos
  • Time: 20:30 h
  • Where: Teatro Guimerá

Wednesday 

Election of Tenerife's Carnival Queen

  • Gala for the Election of the Carnival Queen
  • Time: 21:30 h
  • Where: Centro Internacional de Ferias and Congresos
  • You can also watch the Gala on TV or Facebook, transmitted live

Thursday 

  • Festival de La Zarzuela
  • Time: 20:30 h
  • Where: Teatro Guimerá

Street Carnival in Santa Cruz (Carnaval en la Calle)

These are the events that happen on the streets of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and they are actually the heart and soul of the carnival, with big street parties where large crowds of people come together to celebrate the joy of the carnival.

Friday 

Time Event Where
20:00 h Announcing Parade of the Carnival (Cabalgata Anunciadora) Avenida Bélgica
22:30 h Street party with dancing and music Plaza del Príncipe, Plaza La Candelaria and Avenida Francisco La Roche
- Competition of Float Cars and Decorated Vehicles Avenida de Bélgica

Saturday 

Time Event Where
17:30 h Shows on all the stages in the city Plaza del Príncipe, Plaza La Candelaria and Avenida Francisco La Roche
21:00 h Ritmo and Armonía Competition Avenida de Francisco La Roche
22:30 h Street party with dancing and music Plaza del Príncipe, Plaza La Candelaria and Avenida Francisco La Roche

Sunday 

Time Event Where
11:00 h Performance by Filarmónica Ni fú – Ni fá Plaza del Príncipe
12:00 h Performance by Agrup. Lírica Los Fregolinos Plaza del Príncipe
13:00 h
to
20:00 h

Carnaval de Día / Daytime Carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife

This is the main event of the day and one of the most anticipated days of the carnival.

Location: all stages - Plaza del Príncipe, Plaza La Candelaria and Avenida Francisco La Roche

17:30 h Shows around the city Plaza del Príncipe, Plaza La Candelaria and Avenida Francisco La Roche
22:30 h Street party and performances by live orchestras and bands Plaza de La Candelaria

Monday 

Time Event Where
17:00 h Street party with live music Plaza del Príncipe, Plaza La Candelaria and Avenida Francisco La Roche
17:30 h Shows around the city Plaza del Príncipe, Plaza La Candelaria and Avenida Francisco La Roche

Tuesday 16/02/2021

Time Event Where
11:00 h Performance by Filarmónica Ni fú – Ni fá Plaza del Príncipe
12:00 h Performance by Agrup. Lírica Los Fregolinos Plaza del Príncipe
16:00 h

Tenerife Carnival Parade (Shrove Tuesday)

The big carnival parade of Santa Cruz de Tenerife ("Coso" Apotheosis) on Francisco La Roche and Avenida Maritima

Location: Avenida Francisco La Roche and Avenida Maritima

20:00 h Street party with live music Plaza La Candelaria

Wednesday 

Time Event Where
22:00 h

Burial of the Sardine (Ash Wednesday)

Entierro de La Sardina / Burial of the Sardine

Starting from Juan Pablo II Street, goes towards Méndez Núñez, El Pilar, Villalba Hervás, La Marina and ending at the Plaza de España.

Location: Burning of the Sardine on Avenida Maritima.

22:30 h Street party with live music Plaza del Principe

Thursday 

Time Event Where
20:30 h Festival de Rondallas Teatro Guimerá

Friday 

Time Event Where
18:00 h Kid's Parade Leaving from Parque García Sanabria, goes towards the streets El Pilar, Villalba Hervás y La Marina.calles El Pilar, Villalba Hervás y La Marina.
20:00 h Festival Galardonados Plaza de La Candelaria
22:30 h Street party with live music Plaza del Príncipe, Plaza La Candelaria and Avenida Francisco La Roche

Saturday 

Time Event Where
11:00 h
14:00 h
Kids' Carnival Plaza Isla de La Madera
17:00 h
20:00 h
Kids' Carnival Plaza Isla de La Madera
13:00 h
to
20:00 h

Daytime Carnival - Saturday de Piñata

Carnaval de día

This is the largest street party during Carnival in Tenerife

Location: Plaza del Príncipe, Plaza España and Plaza de la Candelaria

20:00 h Festival de Galardonados Plaza de La Candelaria
21:30 h Street party with live music Plaza del Príncipe, Plaza La Candelaria and Avenida Francisco La Roche

Sunday 

Time Event Where
10:00 h Big Contest for Antique Cars After the competition, the cars will tour the streets of the city, starting at 12:00 and the parade will end on Avenida Francisco La Roche
11:00 h Performance by Filarmónica Ni fú – Ni fá Plaza del Príncipe
12:00 h Performance by Agrupación Lírica La Zarzuela del Círculo de Amistad XII de Enero Plaza del Príncipe
17:00 h End of the 2020 Tenerife Carnival (Sunday de Piñata ) Círculo de Amistad XII de Enero
18:00 h End of the fiesta. Group tour through the city center. Upon completion there will be a fireworks show. Plaza de La Candelaria
carnival santa cruz tenerife
A lot of elaborate floats at the Carnival parade in Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Tenerife Carnival theme

Each year the carnival has a different theme, which is selected by online popular vote by the public. In 2021 the theme was supposed to be Carnivals of the World (Carnavales del Mundo), but since the 2021 carnival is now suspended, we will have to wait and see if they will selecte another theme for the next edition.

What to do in Tenerife - Our recommendations

Costume ideas for Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival

Wondering what to wear to the carnival in Tenerife?

Most of the participants to the carnival in Tenerife will be wearing a costume, and it is highly advisable that you get one as well! It doesn't have to be anything fancy or complicated, a simple wig with some funny sunglasses or a hat will do. 

Most of the locals will be dressed in costumes during the street parties, so if you want to blend in, you should try to be prepared. A lot of Chinese shops and supermarkets will sell different types of costumes during the carnival season, so it will not be difficult to find something simple and cheap.

During the parades, people don't tend to come dressed in costumes, but they will definitely be wearing costumes during streets parties like the Daytime carnival.

The Burial of the Sardine is another special day when participants come dressed up as "widows" of the sardine, mourning the poor sardine. So, if you want to be prepared, wear something black, like a black dress (men and women alike!), a veil and even a hat. This event tends to have sexual connotations, so don't be surprised when you see some extravagant costumes on the streets of Santa Cruz!

Our impressions of Tenerife Carnival

We have been to the big Carnival of Tenerife in 2019 and we must admit that we had a better time than we expected.

Since we are not big fans of large crowd gatherings, we thought that we would not enjoy the experience, but we're glad to say that we were wrong and that we absolutely loved every minute of the carnival in Tenerife!

We first went to the Announcement Parade, which took place on a Friday evening and then continued throughout the night with a big party. At this event, there were mostly locals and very few tourists, so it's a good opportunity to see the authentic atmosphere of the Tenerife Carnival. 

Although we were a bit afraid of the big crowds, we must say that there was ample space since the parade goes through several long boulevards, so you can pick a less crowded spot along the way. 

Regarding safety, although there was a lot of drinking involved, we must say that we never felt unsafe, as there were a lot of Police present everywhere and people were generally friendly, with everyone minding their own business. This might not be the case on every night of the carnival in Tenerife, but we never felt unsafe while we were there.

We went to all the different stages in the city centre, which had different types of music and atmosphere, but we preferred the vibe in Plaza de la Candelaria.

We really liked the Opening parade of the carnival in Tenerife and we would recommend it to anyone (although the big parade before Ash Wednesday is larger and much more popular).

Honestly, the carnival in Santa Cruz was so much fun and we are planning to return for another edition since we did not get to attend in all the events and we'd also like to come better prepared with costumes next time!

Tenerife Carnival Hospital (First Aid)

You must know that there is a big carnival hospital set-up close to the main area of the carnival, so in case you feel sick you can ask around about directions. We were impressed to see how big this area was and it's a good thing that they are able to provide immediate assistance to people who need it. 

Transport - How to get around the carnival

Most of the city centre will be blocked and closed to car traffic, so we would advise you to avoid coming by car in the centre area. Instead, you can use public transport and we have a dedicated article for how to get around the carnival in Santa Cruz.

Coming to the island for the big Carnival and wondering how the weather will be?

Read more about Tenerife in February, including info about temperatures and what clothes you should bring with you.

Find the best place to stay in Tenerife when planning your holiday during the carnival. There are lots of nice Airbnbs in Santa Cruz if you want to be there for just a few days while the big events are taking place. Use our Airbnb code when you create your new account and you will get a discount to use for your first booking.

GET YOUR €41 AIRBNB COUPON CODE NOW!

Share This Story
Was this helpful?
© Copyright GuideToCanaryIslands 2020. All rigths reserved.
Loving the Canary Islands? We will notify you when we publish new articles!
No, thank you. Yes, please.
We do not collect personal data.