Hola From Tenerife

Subscribe to our free newsletter to get an (ir)regular ray of Tenerife sunshine in your inbox. Just enter your email address below.

Delivered by FeedBurner

Close

COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Fiestas and large gatherings are still prohibited with social distancing and other restrictions still in force. Events listed here, therefore, are subject to cancellation or change and we will update, when and if any new information is made available.

Please like and follow our facebook page for more updates >>

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Ash Wednesday: Burial of the Sardine

Parade of 'widows' in Santa Cruz. Photo WebTenerife

Anything you heard about Carnival in Tenerife, so far, that you thought was maybe surreal, a bit OTT, downright rude, utterly crazy ... will be rendered tame today, Ash Wednesday. Lent ("Christian Ramadan") begins and, there's a "funeral" taking place, the Entierro de la Sardina to lament the death of the fiestas. The significance of the sardine - so I'm told - is that it represents the return from the anarchy and craziness of carnival, back to the everyday order and, presumably, everyday food, like sardines.

Then again, it might be all to do with a side of pork and some smelly fish in Madrid, as Linda Wainright discovered in response to her question about the event's origins: Why would a bunch of perfectly straight, often macho, guys dress up in fishnets, high heels and widow’s weeds, and parade themselves through town, bewailing (and take the “wailing” part of that literally!) the “death” of a giant, papier mache fish?

Whatever the reasons, apart from the final weekend to come, referred to as the piñata, carnival is beginning to end, officially, in Santa Cruz for another year.

Even the fish is tarted up with make up and red lips!
Although the event is called a burial (entierro means putting in the earth, literally), it would be more properly called a cremation, but that seems like an unnecessary and pedantic distinction, given the circumstances. After the funeral procession (and mucho alcohol has been consumed), the effigy of the unfortunate fish is symbolically burned.

One year, also symbolically, somewhat Guy Fawkes stylee, an effigy of the lawyer who represented the Neighbours' Association in their complaint about the noise of Carnaval was also cremated. OK, so maybe 155 dB - louder than a jet engine roaring 100 feet from your ears - was a bit much for midnight, but their protests fell - pretty literally, I suppose - on deaf ears. Nobody was going to be allowed to do away with more than 200 years of the "institution" of carnaval in the streets of Tenerife's capital.

A couple of 'widows' at Santa Cruz'
Burial of the Sardine in 2007
.
Photo: kasia kazmierska
Still, the best description of this whole surreal and blasphemous closing parade is Julie Burchill's article, Carnaval Queen, in the Guardian. She asks, "Can we imagine a family night out solely about witnessing displays of blasphemy and hardcore porn?" The sardine's "widows" are mostly blokes in drag, dressed as tarts (they're going on the game now their "husband" is dead and they have no other means of support) wailing inconsolably at their loss. Others dress as popes, priests, pregnant nuns, "... many of them carrying huge dildos with which they blessed the crowd", says Burchill.

She continues: "On the night the sardine is laid to rest, you realise how irretrievably the Catholic church's backing of Fascism during the second world war has damaged its reputation in its heartland. I knew that the Catholic countries of southern Europe now boast the lowest birth-rates in the world, but I never realised how complete their contempt for their religion is until I saw the burial."

La Laguna Ahora published an article which explained that during the "Fiestas de Invierno" (Winter Festival) - the name that carnival had to go under during Franco's dictatorship - they used to have to mess with the calendar to make sure that the sardine's funeral - which, of course, was "prohibited" anyway - didn't coincide with Ash Wednesday. Once liberties were regained, the event was restored with enthusiasm.

The official site lists the event as running from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., starting from the Plaza de la Paz and ending in the Plaza de Europa. As with everything else, there will be fireworks to finish, just before the all-night revelries start.

More images of the Entierro de la Sardina at Carnaval 2007

No comments:

Tenerife Land of Eternal Christmas

Sunbathing SantaDesert Island ChristmasScuba Diving SantaTropical Santa
Santa's Having a Whale of a TimeSurfing SantaWaterski SantaCamel Rodeo Santa
With a wide range of products in each design, click the pics (above) to see the full selections.

Secret Tenerife Needs Your Support: We don't get paid for our work, which takes many hours of research, translation, etc. Therefore, if you can and find this site interesting or useful, please consider making a donation.

Tenerife Topics

Adeje Almond Flower Route April in Tenerife Arafo Arico Arona Ash Wednesday Auditorio de Tenerife August in Tenerife Brexit Buenavista del Norte Burial of the Sardine Canarian Cuisine Canaries Day Candelaria Candelmas Carnaval de Día Carnival 1987 Carnival 1988 Carnival 1989 Carnival 1990 Carnival 1991 Carnival 1992 Carnival 1993 Carnival 1994 Carnival 1995 Carnival 1996 Carnival 1997 Carnival 2001 Carnival 2002 Carnival 2003 Carnival 2004 Carnival 2005 Carnival 2006 Carnival 2007 Carnival 2008 Carnival 2009 Carnival 2010 Carnival 2011 Carnival 2012 Carnival 2013 Carnival 2014 Carnival 2015 Carnival 2016 Carnival 2017 Carnival 2018 Carnival 2019 Carnival 2020 Carnival 2021 Carnival 2022 Carnival Foods Carnival Main Parade Carnival Queen Santa Cruz Carnival Queens 2001-2020 Carnivals of the World Children's Carnaval Parade Chinyero Christmas in Tenerife Christopher Columbus Comparsas Corpus Christi COVID-19 Craft Fairs Daytime Carnival December in Tenerife Día de la Cruz Día de San José Easter in Tenerife El Gordo Christmas Lottery El Rosario El Sauzal El Tanque Epidemics in Tenerife Farmers Markets Fasnia February in Tenerife Fiestas El Palmar Flavours of Christmas Garachico Granadilla de Abona Guía de Isora Güímar History of Carnival History of Tenerife Icod de los Vinos Innocent Saints January in Tenerife Jardín Botánico July in Tenerife June in Tenerife Junior Carnival Queen La Gomera La Guancha La Matanza de Acentejo La Orotava La Siervita La Victoria de Acentejo Las Burras de Güímar Las Celias de Tenerife Los Cristianos Los Cristianos Carnival Los Gigantes Los Gigantes Carnival Los Indianos Los Realejos Los Reyes Los Silos March in Tenerife Masca Mascarita Ponte Tacón May in Tenerife Monuments and Sculptures in Santa Cruz Municipal Holidays Municipalities Fiestas Nelson's Attack on Santa Cruz 25 Jul 1797 New Year in Tenerife Nochebuena November in Tenerife October in Tenerife Opening Parade Parade of Vintage Cars Public Holidays Puerto de la Cruz Puerto de la Cruz Carnival Recipes for All Saints Day Rhythm and Harmony Comparsas Romería de San Roque Romerías San Andrés San Antonio Abad San Cristóbal de La Laguna San Juan de la Rambla San Miguel de Abona San Sebastián Santa Cruz de Tenerife Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival Themes Santa Úrsula Santiago del Teide Senior Carnival Queen September in Tenerife Shrove Tuesday Simón Bolívar Summer Carnival Tacoronte Tegueste Tenerife Carnival Dates Tenerife Disaster Tenerife Fire Tenerife Month by Month Tenerife Museums Tenerife Rally Tenerife Walking Festival Tenerife Weather Tenerife Wines Teno Rural Park This Is Tenerife (TIT) Town Halls in Tenerife Traditional Fiestas Tropical Storm Delta Vilaflor de Chasna