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



Festivals in Tenerife and other large gatherings are still not able to be held with social distancing and other restrictions still in force. Events listed here, therefore, are subject to cancellation or change without notice. Such circumstances are beyond our control.

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

Monday, February 24, 2020

Afilarmónica Ni Fú-Ni Fá the grandfathers of carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife

The Afilarmónica Nifú Nifá at the head of the Carnival Parade on Tuesday 5 March 2019

The Afilarmónica Nifú Nifá (fondly known as La Fufa) is a carnival institution in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Whilst the order that queens and the various groups go out in the various parades is determined by their placing in the various contests in the run up to carnival in the street, La Fufa always head up the parades, owing to their position of seniority.

History of the Afilarmónica Nifú Nifá

In 1917 a chirigota from Cádiz participated in the carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife for the first time. They were sailors from the gunboat “Laya” of the Spanish Navy and that planted the seed, so that in the decade of the nineteen-twenties the first murga was born in Santa Cruz, named "El Flaco". It disappeared in 1936, when the Civil War broke out.

After the Civil War and as the carnival was celebrated with some tolerance by local authorities, in 1951 a group of friends formed a “murga” (among them the founder and director of the Afilarmónica NiFú-NiFá, Enrique González Betancourt (1924-2010) - who was known as 'the father of the murgas'), which at that time had no name; they made the musical instruments themselves with items such as a sardine barrel and iron plates, the rest of the instruments (trumpets, saxophones, ...) were made of cardboard.

A few months before the 1954 carnival, the group met to organize better; chosing a name for their murga, they decided to name it an "Afilarmónica". They wore a "circus musicians" costume with huge false mustaches, so they decided that the full name would be "Afilarmónica los Mustatos". However, when everything was ready, an order from the Civil Governor of the province, Arias Navarro, prohibited the celebration of carnivals.

Nevertheless, they performed after the dates of the carnival in the capital of Tenerife (at an artistic festival, a parade of the festivities of a neighborhood of Santa Cruz, and a party in honor of General Rodrigo, in the Círculo de Amistad XII de Enero (Circle of Friendship XII of January), where they were recriminated by the then Civil Governor).

Although the number of members reduced, the group continued rehearsing every year, but without performing in public when the dates of the carnival arrived, until in 1961, when they returned to meet the streets, already with their current name.

Afilarmónica NiFú-NiFá

In 1961, when they were about to go out on the street, a man appeared in the rehearsal room. When he saw that the name of the murga on the drum was that of his company, he got angry and demanded that it be removed immediately, telling the group that the name itself was nifú-nifá (neither here nor there / of no importance or relevance), but that the company was very serious and it was not necessary to confuse it with the carnival.

Which is how the current name emerged, that of Afilarmónica NiFú-NiFá.

In that same year, with only one day left until the end of the carnival celebrations, the city council realised, after discussion with the Provincial Delegation of Information and Tourism, that there were several murgas parading through the streets, so they set up the first contest of murgas, which was held in the Plaza del Príncipe, with a total of five murgas participating. In addition to the Fufa were: the murga of “El Chucho” of Valleseco, the murgaMarte”, the murgaLa Silenciosa” of Tacoronte and the murga "Pepe". The winner was the Afilarmónica NiFú-NiFá, making them the winners of the First Prize of the First Murga Contest of the First Winter Festival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

In 1962 the murgas contest was held in the Santa Cruz Bullring. For the second time, La Fufa won the contest and this was repeated in the following years: (1963, 1964 and 1965).

In 1966, the then veteran Afilarmónica, made the decision to go to the contest but participated without competing for the awards, a decision that has remained ever since. It was also in 1966, when they first released the Cubanito, a song that remains in their repertoire year after year and has become something of a carnival hymn.

Historia Afilarmónica Ni Fu Ni Fa

The Afilarmónica Nifú Nifá at the head of the Carnival Parade on Tuesday 5 March 2019

The Afilarmónica Nifú Nifá at the head of the Carnival Parade on Tuesday 5 March 2019

No comments:

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 Carnaval de Verano Carnival 1987 Carnival 1988 Carnival 1989 Carnival 1990 Carnival 1991 Carnival 1992 Carnival 1993 Carnival 1994 Carnival 1995 Carnival 1996 Carnival 1997 Carnival 1998 Carnival 1999 Carnival 2000 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 History 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 Corazones de Tejina 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 de San Juan Fiestas El Palmar Flavours of Christmas Garachico Granadilla de Abona Guía de Isora Güímar 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 Rally Calendar 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