No, Don’t Stop the Carnaval

Posted: January 27, 2008 in Life, Spain, Tenerife, Travel
Tags: , , ,

Okay, this particular blog is a rant; a mechanism for bringing my blood down from a boil to a simmer and to release some pent up frustration caused by some anonymous mean spirited persons who would happily put the dampeners on a centuries old tradition just because it didn’t suit their particular sensibilities (see what I mean).

A week or ago I didn’t feel ready for Carnaval in Tenerife; it was hurtling toward us too quickly and I hadn’t recovered from Christmas, New Year and a visit from our Annie Lennox look-alike friend, Sarah. However, walking around the harbour yesterday, there was the slightest hint of a buzz around the square; I could taste the spirit of Carnaval in the air and I felt the first surge of excitement at the prospect of the week long spectacular of flamboyance and revelry.

Then, I happened to pick up one of the Island’s English language newspapers and read a variation of a report which appears nearly every year apparently written on behalf of ‘people who live…’ on one of the streets where the Carnaval street parties take place. People who live? Yeah, right. 

The paper reports that Carnaval has become “a good deal noisier and unruly…” HELLO – it’s Carnaval; the last big blowout before Lent. Of course it’s noisy, Spanish Fiestas generally are. As for unruly. I’ve been going for four years; I’ve taken friends from the UK and we’ve partied until four and five in the morning and they all comment on how good natured the atmosphere is despite thousands of people dancing and drinking in the streets throughout the night.

Carnaval goers on Calle Perdomo, an unruly lot?The criticism is aimed at one street in particular, Calle Perdomo. This is where younger Carnaval goers tend to congregate; where DJ’s play music (which isn’t really that much different from the live bands in the square). The ‘people who live there’ want the music turned down; the Carnaval to stop earlier; the kiosks to be moved etc. Basically they want Carnaval goers to just stop having fun.

What annoys me is this – the buildings on Calle Perdomo must be… maybe twenty years old. Carnaval has been celebrated for a lot longer than that, which means one of two things:

a) The people who are complaining bought apartments there knowing that they were right in the heart of most of the fiestas which take place in the town.
b) Or, whoever is complaining is an incomer who, ignorant of the culture, didn’t realise that they were buying an apartment which, some might say, was in such a prime spot for fiestas.

Either way, they don’t have my sympathy, especially if they fall into the latter category. If they don’t like the culture, they shouldn’t have moved here ergo, in the words of Simon Pegg, they can “JOG ON”.

Vive La Carnaval!!!!


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