It's carnival time in Tenerife and after Brazil, the Canary Islands have the most spectacular carnival celebrations in the world. The events last for weeks and the preparations take a whole year. By the time one carnival is ending, the next one is already in the planning.
On Friday Feb 13th, the big celebration was in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the next island, when their carnival queen 'Reina de Carnaval' was elected in a grand gala event. Here is a link to the video of that event which lasts around 185 minutes and can be seen full screen.
Murga in Tenerife show
This evening, Santa Cruz de Tenerife elected this year's carnival queen in a show which was broadcast not only over the islands but also internationally. I like to watch the event on TV to see the queen contestants in their fantastic costumes which are now so heavy that they are supported on the floor with wheels while the girls stand inside and push them along. Gone are the days when they were supporting all the weight on their shoulders. The creations are now more sophisticated but still very heavy. Some are even equipped with twinkling lights.
Tenerife's Carnival Queen 2009
As well as the eighteen contestants of this evening, there were the dancing groups, the 'comparsas' and the singing clown groups, the 'murgas', whose purpose it is to poke stinging and satirical jabs through their songs and comedy routines at political figures and municipal situations not to their liking.
A Comparsa dancing group
One of the Queen Contestants
One of the Maids of Honour
Another Dama de Honor
Dancers in a Comparsa
Colourful Costumes of a Murga
The carnival celebrations will continue now over a couple of weeks.
Here is a link to the official carnival website with a timetable of events and photos.
And finally, here are full photos of the winning creation and the new 'Reina de Carnaval 2009' of Tenerife