Los Indianos Carnival

Andres Gutierrez

Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain. February 2015

The annual Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife has been celebrated on the island since the arrival of Europeans. The theme of this year’s celebration was the “Future,” with celebrants imagining Earth in the future in the guise of dancers, stilt walkers and beings from other planets.

The festivities on the streets of Santa Cruz de Tenerife start on the Friday before Carnival with an opening parade. At night, thousands of participants in fancy dresses dance until the early morning hours. The party continues until Ash Wednesday, when the “entierro de la sardine,” burial of the sardine, is celebrated, signaling the official end to carnival.

The celebration has evolved to include two parts: an official Carnival and an informal one on the streets. The sanctioned carnival includes more than 100 participating groups, including murgas, comparsas, rondallas, and other musical groups. The street carnival is more loosely organized, made up of thousands of people who come each day dressed in costume.