Carnaval on Tenerife – If You Don’t Like the Noise Stay Well Away

Posted: February 23, 2010 in Life, Spain, Tenerife, Travel
Tags: , , , , ,

Do You Mind Not banging Quite So Loudly?

First of all, in case I’m starting to come across as a miserable moaning git, this is where I come to get things off my chest.

Having a rant on here exorcises the demons, keeps the blood pressure down and probably keeps me on the right side of being sane.

But really, I’m not a moaning grump…or at least I never used to be.

This rant is about carnaval, or to be more accurate about some of the people who go to carnaval.

To experience carnaval on Tenerife is to witness Tinerfeños at their welcoming happiest best.  Everybody is invited to their party whether they’re in fancy dress, or not.

Locals will pose for photo after photo, breaking into a perfect stance with enormous beaming smiles a zillion times a night (and they do it so well and naturally that it makes someone like me, who’s as natural in front of a camera as a tailor’s dummy, green with envy).

They have such good natures that they would probably never ever complain about what I think is incredibly rude behaviour amongst a minority of visitors. But I will.

I see it every year and it winds me up every time.

On Friday I was standing waiting to take photographs of the drag marathon when a man stood in front of me, snapped a few photos, then returned to his wife where they stood with their hands over their ears until he wanted to take another photograph.

Later on a group of people crossed through the middle of the dancing revellers, again holding their hands over their ears.

On Saturday as the closing parade passed by, there was a frenzy of people jostling for position to get photographs of the flamboyant participants, before clapping their hands over their ears and grimacing as the floats pumping out music came by.

I walked up Avenida Generalisimo where the younger parade participants were dancing to the thumping music coming out of assorted vehicles in fancy dress and there were scores of people with their hands over their ears. To be fair it was pretty damned loud, but they were playing Michael Jackson and YMCA for gawd’s sake.

These visitors obviously liked the pretty colours and the razzamatazz, but they clearly want it without any noise – a silent carnaval.

Well guys, noise is as much a part of carnaval as pretty girls in Rio-esque costumes displaying acres of flesh and men in drag showing everything they’ve got.

It’s big, brash, bouncy, risqué and very, very loud.

If this applies to anyone out there and you still want to experience carnaval but can’t handle the noise,  wear ear plugs.

But never, ever parade disrespectfully in front of your welcoming hosts with your hands over your ears in future. It is terribly bad mannered.

  1. selina says:

    I fully agree with everything you said about the carnaval…. by the way the photo you have is of the Comparsa La Marcha del Sur that my daughter is in so I’m very proud… Thanks… Here’s to the next on the 14th in Cristianos…. I know it’s not as fun as most don’t join in but we’ll be there as usual all dressed up and getting into the carnaval spirit….x Enjoy.

    • dragojac says:

      Thanks for your comments – it’s always nice to know when people agree.

      The Comparsa La Marcha del Sur were excellent – energetic and looked fantastic. I’m not surprised that you’re proud of your daughter. I took a few photos of them, so might even have pics of her (if she was on the row on the sea side of the group).

  2. Zara says:

    Makes you wonder why they bother to go, probably so they can show the photos to those back home so they will think they are not party poopers after all!! But we know different LOL

    Will you be at Los Cris?

    • dragojac says:

      It does, doesn’t it. Unlikely I’ll be at the Los Cris Carnaval, Colin K will no doubt be covering that one.

      But I’ve got to get quite a few photos down in that neck of the woods soon, so I might try to work it so it coincides – but it all depends on the weather.

  3. Ylva says:

    Damn, I´d like to be there! I´m quite envious, and I would never complain about the noise, it´s freaking carnaval, right?! 😀
    I´ll be moving to Tenerife in august, so next year I defentily will experience this.
    They should be happy they aren´t living in cold Sweden at -22C.
    I like your blog, it makes the move much closer than it otherwise would feel.

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