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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.

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Tenerife Carnaval Dates

Tenerife Carnival

The key date for Carnaval Events in Tenerife is Shrove Tuesday, which is when the Gran Coso Apoteosis - Carnaval's Main Parade - takes place in the capital, Santa Cruz. This is the same day as Mardi Gras in New Orleans, so we've borrowed their dates and cross-checked them with a local carnaval calendar to produce the following table:

YEAR Election of the Carnival Queen Shrove Tuesday Main Parade Carnival in
the streets
2004 Wed 18 Feb 04 Tue 24 Feb 04 Fri 20 Feb - Sun 29 Feb
2005 Wed 2 Feb 05 Tue 8 Feb 05 Fri 4 Feb - Sun 13 Feb
2006 Wed 22 Feb 06 Tue 28 Feb 06 Fri 24 Feb - Sun 5 Mar
2007 Wed 14 Feb 07 Tue 20 Feb 07 Fri 16 Feb - Sun 25 Feb
2008 Wed 30 Jan 08 Tue 5 Feb 08 Fri 1 Feb - Sun 10 Feb
2009 Wed 18 Feb 09 Tue 24 Feb 09 Fri 20 Feb - Sun 1 Mar
2010 Wed 10 Feb 10 Tue 16 Feb 10 Fri 12 Feb - Sun 21 Feb
2011 Wed 2 Mar 11 Tue 8 Mar 11 Fri 4 Mar - Sun 13 Mar
2012 Wed 15 Feb 12 Tue 21 Feb 12 Fri 17 Feb - Sun 26 Feb
2013 Wed 6 Feb 13 Tue 12 Feb 13 Fri 8 Feb - Sun 17 Feb
2014 Wed 26 Feb 14 Tue 4 Mar 14 Fri 28 Feb - Sun 9 Mar
2015 Wed 11 Feb 15 Tue 17 Feb 15 Fri 13 Feb - Sun 22 Feb
2016 Wed 3 Feb 16 Tue 9 Feb 16 Fri 5 Feb - Sun 14 Feb
2017 Wed 22 Feb 17 Tue 28 Feb 17 Fri 24 Feb - Sun 5 Mar
2018 Wed 7 Feb 18 Tue 13 Feb 18 Fri 9 Feb - Sun 18 Feb
2019 Wed 27 Feb 19 Tue 5 Mar 19 Fri 1 Mar - Sun 10 Mar
2020 Wed 19 Feb 20 Tue 25 Feb 20 Fri 21 Feb - Sun 1 Mar
2021 Wed 10 Feb 21 Tue 16 Feb 21 Fri 12 Feb - Sun 21 Feb
2022 Wed 23 Feb 22 Tue 1 Mar 22 Fri 25 Feb - Sun 6 Mar
2023 Wed 15 Feb 23 Tue 21 Feb 23 Fri 17 Feb - Sun 26 Feb
2024 Wed 7 Feb 24 Tue 13 Feb 24 Fri 9 Feb - Sun 18 Feb
2025 Wed 26 Feb 25 Tue 4 Mar 25 Fri 28 Feb - Sun 9 Mar
2026 Wed 11 Feb 26 Tue 17 Feb 26 Fri 13 Feb - Sun 22 Feb
2027 Wed 3 Feb 27 Tue 9 Feb 27 Fri 5 Feb - Sun 14 Feb
2028 Wed 23 Feb 28 Tue 29 Feb 28 Fri 25 Feb - Sun 5 Mar
2029 Wed 7 Feb 29 Tue 13 Feb 29 Fri 9 Feb - Sun 18 Feb
2030 Wed 27 Feb 30 Tue 5 Mar 30 Fri 1 Mar - Sun 10 Mar
2031 Wed 19 Feb 31 Tue 25 Feb 31 Fri 21 Feb - Sun 2 Mar
2032 Wed 4 Feb 32 Tue 10 Feb 32 Fri 6 Feb - Sun 15 Feb
2033 Wed 23 Feb 33 Tue 1 Mar 33 Fri 25 Feb - Sun 6 Mar
2034 Wed 15 Feb 34 Tue 21 Feb 34 Fri 17 Feb - Sun 26 Feb
2035 Wed 31 Jan 35 Tue 6 Feb 35 Fri 2 Feb - Sun 11 Feb
2036 Wed 20 Feb 36 Tue 26 Feb 36 Fri 22 Feb - Sun 2 Mar
2037 Wed 11 Feb 37 Tue 17 Feb 37 Fri 13 Feb - Sun 22 Feb
2038 Wed 3 Mar 38 Tue 9 Mar 38 Fri 5 Mar - Sun 14 Mar
2039 Wed 16 Feb 39 Tue 22 Feb 39 Fri 18 Feb - Sun 27 Feb
2040 Wed 8 Feb 40 Tue 14 Feb 40 Fri 10 Feb - Sun 19 Feb
2041 Wed 27 Feb 41 Tue 5 Mar 41 Fri 1 Mar - Sun 10 Mar
2042 Wed 12 Feb 42 Tue 18 Feb 42 Fri 14 Feb - Sun 23 Feb
2043 Wed 4 Feb 43 Tue 10 Feb 43 Fri 6 Feb - Sun 15 Feb
2044 Wed 24 Feb 44 Tue 1 Mar 44 Fri 26 Feb - Sun 6 Mar
2045 Wed 15 Feb 45 Tue 21 Feb 45 Fri 17 Feb - Sun 26 Feb
2046 Wed 31 Jan 46 Tue 6 Feb 46 Fri 2 Feb - Sun 11 Feb
2047 Wed 20 Feb 47 Tue 26 Feb 47 Fri 22 Feb - Sun 3 Mar
2048 Wed 12 Feb 48 Tue 18 Feb 48 Fri 14 Feb - Sun 23 Feb
2049 Wed 24 Feb 49 Tue 2 Mar 49 Fri 26 Feb - Sun 7 Mar
2050 Wed 16 Feb 50 Tue 22 Feb 50 Fri 18 Feb - Sun 27 Feb

Tenerife's Carnaval events generally follow a regular pattern each year, which makes planning a bit easier. At least they do, mostly, in Santa Cruz and Puerto de la Cruz. 

The earliest carnival has taken place was in 2008, when it took to the streets between Fri 1 Mar and Sun 10 Mar, and the latest will be in 2038, from Fri 5 Mar until Sun 14 Mar.

Any Year Tenerife Carnaval Schedule

  • The Wednesday BEFORE Shrove Tuesday: Gala for the Election of the Carnaval Queen in Santa Cruz. This event is a huge evening gala, usually lasting for several hours and is probably best seen on TV.
  • The Friday BEFORE Shrove Tuesday: Once it has it's Queen, Santa Cruz Carnaval takes to the streets on the Friday evening, with the Cabalgata Anunciadora (Opening Parade) from 8pm.
  • The Saturday BEFORE Shrove Tuesday: The Rhythm and Harmony Comparsas, with the Queen and her court on the Avenida Anaga from 9 pm.
  • The Sunday BEFORE Shrove Tuesday: The first of the Carnaval de Día (Daytime Carnival) events with music and dancing in the streets. 
  • Carnival Monday is a big party night in Santa Cruz.
  • Shrove Tuesday: (Martes de Carnaval): The Coso Apoteosis (Main Parade), in which all of the queens and carnival groups take part, along the front at Santa Cruz (the Avenida de Anaga and Marítima), from around 4 pm. 
  • Ash Wednesday: Burial of the Sardine. This takes place in both Santa Cruz and Puerto de la Cruz on the same night, so you have a choice. Either way, it's essential for men to dress up as "Widows" to mourn the poor old defunct sardine and generally have a blasphemous night of it. 
  • The Friday AFTER Shrove Tuesday: The unmissable Mascarita Ponte Tacón, known in English as the High Heels Drag Marathon, in Puerto de la Cruz. And, in recent years, the Coso Infantil (Junior Parade) in Santa Cruz. 
  • The Saturday AFTER Shrove Tuesday: Carnaval de Día (Daytime Carnival); free, live concerts in and around the streets and plazas of Santa Cruz from lunchtime onwards. Main Parade in Puerto de la Cruz.
  • The Sunday AFTER Shrove Tuesday: The Gran Concurso en la Ciudad de Automóviles Antiguos, when some beautiful vintage cars parade around the city at around midday. End of Carnival Parties and Firework Display.

Those are the main events of carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Puerto de la Cruz

In the run up to the carnival, there are many other contests and events involving all the various singing and dancing troupes that form part of the carnival parades and, of course, alongside all of this is the fun fair, the food stalls, orchestras, dancing and concerts that go on in the streets until dawn. And, just when you think it's all over, it all moves on to Los Cristianos, Los Gigantes and many other towns a week or two later ...

We had hoped to include the Los Cristianos Carnaval dates in this table too, but we discovered that arrangements there are more of a moving target than a moveable feast, so it's utterly impossible to predict their timetable with the same any certainty at all.

Getting to Carnaval in Santa Cruz

If you're staying in the south of Tenerife, there's no problem as extra buses are laid on each year, even during the night, which will take carnival goers between Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos and Santa Cruz. Don't take a car, because the traffic jams will be hours long and there will be nowhere to park anyway. Catch the 111 bus from Las Americas bus station or Los Cristianos and enjoy the journey that's an extension of the party!

What to wear to Carnaval?

You can wear anything you like and nothing is too risque, although people not in costume will feel like the odd ones out. Each year, each carnival has a theme, but it is not necessary to follow that unless you wish to do so. If you're a man, it's almost obligatory to dress up as a woman - however unconvincingly: excess facial hair need not be removed - and cross-dressing is essential when attending The Burial of the Sardine.

DISCLAIMER: Of course, all of these details are subject to changes that are way beyond our control. Hopefully, carnival will continue in more or less the same manner for the foreseeable future, especially when you consider that it has already overcome prohibitions during dictatorships and survived for more than 200 years and possibly as many as 400, but nothing is guaranteed. We've taken great care to check dates and take leap years into account when working out the dates of the various parades, but we accept no responsibility for errors (probably due to going cross-eyed.) Use this as a guide and double-check nearer to your dates of travel for best results. Batteries not included.

After carnival is Lent and after Lent is Easter. See dates and events here.

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.

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