• Carnevale Network Taking it up a notch...
  • Explore other cultures.......like what is similar and love what is different!
  • After the Carnival....On Ash Wednesday everyone goes to the beach to Chill!
  • Carnevale NetworkWhich Festivals are YOU going to this year?

More Events

Fantastic Four to debut at spectacular Pre-Carnival Event!

The Saturday before the Notting Hill Carnival this is one major event that YOU s...
Read More

Sweat in the City - The Soca Fitness Fete: Carnival edition

On the 22nd of August before carnival the BIGGEST Soca Fitness Fete in the UK is...
Read More

Havana Música presents: A Celebration Of Cuban Music

On Monday 20th of August The famed Cuban night returns, celebrating the mus...
Read More

Blockorama 2018

On Sunday 19th of August Ebony steel Band presents Blockorama! ...
Read More

Soca Addict - The Caribbean Drinks Inclusive

On Saturday 18th of August SOCA ADDICT the most anticipated Caribbean drinks inc...
Read More

Carnival Make-Up Workshop

On the 5th of August get that road ready look, Make Up for Mas, techniques and t...
Read More

Researchers have persistently yet fruitlessly sought to determine the exact origin of the word Carnival. Some state that it comes from the term 'carnevelarium', which in Latin defined the religious prohibition of eating meat during Lent, whilst others relate it to the concept of carrus navalis (boat on wheels) which the God Baco rode on during Roman Bacchanalia.

Nevertheless, historians agree in their definition of these celebrations as a pagan festivity that dates from before Christianity, with rituals and customs that would later be adopted by Christians. Whatever its etymology, experts state that this was a celebration that went against pre-established rules and social standards to become an expression of freedom, joy and wantonness.

Carnival endured relentless religious and monarchic attempts to eradicate the celebration during the Middle Ages and has lived on to this day. It was in the 16th century when it was introduced to Tenerife by the Spaniards and the Portuguese on their way to the New Continent and American colonies.

According to travellers and chroniclers from that time, the Carnivals in the 18th century were a celebration for both the upper classes in their balls and banquets, and for the people in their more popular parties. They would all celebrate Carnival despite the religious and civil ban on holding balls and wearing masks in the public thoroughfare.

During the 19th century, new kinds of festive events emerged (street races, exhibitions and contests), in addition to the traditional dances. This was also the time when the custom known as "tapaderas" became more popular, when high-class women would mingle with the lower echelons of society thanks to the anonymity provided by their masks. Historians believe this tradition to have preceded what is known as the "sheets masquerade" and the "abanador" celebrations, which became popular at the beginning of the next century.

During the first few decades of the 20th century, the number of tourists who were drawn to Tenerife by the Carnival grew. The prosperity of the 1920s favoured the celebration to the point that, in 1925, the first Carnival Programme was established by the City Council of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

It was then that the simple tradition of wearing masks gave way to a variety of carnival groups: rondallas, comparsas, estudiantinas and murgas. The costumes and masks became more sophisticated and also evolved in terms of quality, which gave rise to the first competitions.

The Spanish Civil War and the ensuing dictatorship quashed these celebrations which by that time had become deeply rooted in Tenerife's society. Despite the repression, clandestine celebrations were held in the privacy of peoples' homes.

In 1961, the celebration of Carnival was once again officially accepted under the euphemistic name of Winter Festivities, which in 1967 were declared a Celebration of National Tourist Interest. With the arrival of democracy, the Carnival recovered its name and gradually became the ultimate popular festivity of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, which was finally declared a Celebration of International Tourist Interest in 1980.

Since then, having moved far on from its presumably religious origins, Tenerife's Carnival is considered by some to be the world's second most popular carnival after Río de Janeiro in Brazil, thanks to its flamboyance, the quality of its contests, street parties and concerts, and the authenticity of its street vibe.

 

Site Disclaimer

 

The Carnevale Network is a Member Of the AfterDark Network.
All images and content (C) the original authors.

Contact Us

Contact Us

We're excited to hear from you!

You can contact us via our Contact Page. If you'd prefer to give us a ring you can always call us at: 020 7411 9047

Our Address

, ,

Get Social

We use cookies to improve our website and your experience when using it. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

I accept cookies from this site.

EU Cookie Directive Module Information