The good thing about the Los Cristianos Carnaval not being on Shrove Tuesday (as it should be to really qualify being described as a carnaval) is that it’s later and so the weather is invariably good. So it was yesterday, warm and sunny but not too hot. Perfect! And an opportunity to practice photography which is hard to pass up if you really have nothing better to do. Well, I did, but I went anyway – hang the ironing and the filing!
Of course, the Sunday Parade is the tip of the iceberg. There has been much singing and dancing and judging going on, so that the participants and winners can display their talents in the parade, and much sewing and painting and rehearsing too, not to mention designing some of the fabulous costumes you will see in the photos to follow. Designers, once recovered from this year´s efforts will already be dreaming up ideas for next year, as you can imagine. The details on some of these are ingenious and just breathtaking!
Murgas are musical groups, who perform what are best described as satirical songs, usually aimed at local or national politicians or events which are asking for some criticism, much like the comics of Comedy Central, really, well, the same kind of targets anyway. Their costumes are often very outlandish, other times just amusing, and there is a category for children’s groups too.
For me the group above really represent the spirit of Carnaval – they were having so much fun it was catching! But most people think of the Queen and her Ladies of Honor, and those fantastic costumes when they think of this fiesta. This year’s costumes were stunning. So glad I wasn’t a judge! There is an infant queen too, but she was having running repairs to her headgear at the time she passed by our spot, so I didn’t get a snap! The first picture is the Queen of the Carnival, and others of the runners-up.
The other image which sticks is of the comparsas, the dance troupes in their sexy outfits…..who all deserved medals for tripping along the streets of town in their high heels yesterday!
And some people are here just for the fun!
And other people just seem to find it a chore, mind you, this group was well towards the end of the Parade, so they’d been waiting around for some time by the time I snapped them……and they had a long way to go. It all slows down as you get nearer to the end, because the beginning becomes gridlocked as people get to the end of the route, and peel off in different directions.
These guys looked as if they could have gone on walking and clowning around all night though!
As the last float passed we walked up with the stragglers towards the fairground and that gridlock. This guy jumped onto the rail of his float and serenaded the crowd with “Chicharrero de Corazón”, the anthem of the carnival goers.
chicharrero de corazón.
Salta a la calle y dale al tambor
que el carnaval ya empezó.”
which means, more or less:
chicharrero of my heart.
Pour into the streets and pick up the drum,
the carnival has already started”
A Chicharrero/a is a local word for a native of Tenerife, and for sure at Carnival time you kind of wish that’s what you were. I don’t take back what I said before, nothing will be the same as actually taking part, but this year the town did itself proud, and the fun was infectious! We headed off for hot dogs and beer, and churros and chocolate …….. and I’m pleased to report they were so enjoyable I don’t feel in the least bit guilty today!