Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife
The Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is held each February in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the capital of the largest of the Canary Islands, and attracts people from all over the world.It is considered the second most popular and internationally known carnival, after the one held in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). Partially for this reason, the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is twinned with the city of Rio de Janeiro.
The Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife has been celebrated since the time of the earliest European settlement, and possibly earlier. In practice the ban was not carried out, and a carnival feature was the mixing of the masked upper class with the common people.
In 1980, it was declared a Tourist Festival of International Interest by the Secretary of State for Tourism. The Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife aspires to become a World Heritage Site, as a declaration of its status as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO would promote the festival internationally.
In 1987, singer Celia Cruz went to the Carnival Chicharrero with Billo’s Caracas Boys; attended by 250,000 people, the concert was registered in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest gathering of people in an outdoor plaza to attend a concert.
The festival has two parts: the official Carnival, and the Carnival on the street. The official carnival has more than a hundred groups, including murgas, comparsas, rondallas and other musical groups.
The street carnival is more loosely organized, and comprises the people celebrating on the streets. Thousands of people come each day to the streets to participate, most of whom wear a disguise in accordance with Carnival tradition.
Since 1962, a poster for each year of the Carnival has been created. Artists such as John Galarza, Gurrea, Fierro, Paco Martinez, Enrique Gonzalez, Elena Lecuona and many others have contributed to their designs. For the 2009 Carnival, it was proposed that an open competition take place for participants to design the official poster for that year.
In May 2000, the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife became the Carnival Capital of the World and headquarters of the 20th Convention of the Federation of European Carnival Cities (FECC). The convention, held on the island of Gran Canaria, featured appearances by Carnival performers and concluded with performers from the Carnival of Las Palmas.