Thursday, February 11, 2010

87 ~ Tenerife's Carnival Queen 2010

Reina Carnaval 1 Alicia San Juan McNulty
Reina Carnaval 2
Photos with kind permission from La

Last night's gala of election of Tenerife's carnival queen was themed History of Carnival in Tenerife, remembering the beginnings and ensuing years of carnival on the island and the various outstanding characters who have become so loved and familiar each year. Tenerife's carnival wouldn't be the same without the figures of Charlie Chapman, Cantinflas and Fidel Castro walking on stage and in the parades.

The show timing was brisk, by Tenerife standards, and the spectacle of hundred of islanders in their costumes was almost overwhelming, especially when the TV cameras gave closeup shots of the costumes worn by the murgas and comparsas. One could see the immaculate details of workmanship and materials that goes in to the confection of these outfits.

And when the elaborate costumes of the queen candidates began to emerge they were truly a feast for the eyes. Called fantasias or 'fantasies' they take many months to design and construct and in the last years have come fitted with wheels underneath to facilitate movement.

Now that the queen has been elected by votes with her four damas de honor (maids of honour), the carnival celebrations will move into top gear with parades, street dancing and sleepless nights for many.

Here's another popular carnival song "Chicharrero de Corazón" on a You Tube display of carnival posters over the last 47 years. Chicharrero has come to be used as a fond reference to an inhabitant of Santa Cruz or of Tenerife, the name originating from the fishermen of La Laguna, who in former times of hardship fished the Chicharro (Spanish link) or jurel which was often considered a meal for the poor. Nowadays I have seen chicharros for sale in the supermarket here.

The song has become a favourite around carnival time, calling those who are chicharreros or islanders through to the heart, to pick up the drum and go into the streets because the carnival has begun.

I love this carnival music and I hope you do too!

¡Hasta la vista!



Ashleigh said...

Wow, the costumes are so amazing!!! And who wouldn' want to dance around and party when listening to that beat!

Leonard said...

Wow you take amazing pictures! How come you chose to live on the Canary Islands?

Marysol said...

Ay Dios mío, I terribly miss the carnavales in Cuba. If it weren't for your amazing photos, I'd have nothing by faded memories.

Btw, Cantinflas was much loved and idolized in Cuba!
Fidel Castro...not so much.


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