martes, 5 de febrero de 2008

Carnival in Tenerife

Yes, you're jealous.

The Carnival in Canary Islands is supposed to be the best in Spain, followed closely by the one in Cadiz. I've certainly seen a helluva lot of costumes, most of them incredibly elaborate. The attention to detail is amazing, from the little pocket watches hanging off a clown costume to the bright shiny stuff painstakingly attached to almost anything.

I missed a bit more dancing and the little I saw was far from proficient. The crowd was a bit stayed, but that may be a Canary Islands thing. My mom went to see a Joe Cocker concert and she said everyone just sat through the whole event.

There are several parts to this party. Let me go through them one by one. I'll probably miss something, so bear with me.

The Queens.

Probably the most spectacular part of Carnival. Local businesses shell out to commission and build huge dresses which are worn by the aspiring queens throughout the carnival. For the contest itself, the girls tow these monsters around, so the dresses have to be light enough for them to carry. Thankfully, for the parades, the dresses and the girls get put up on a platform and towed.

Here's one of them at the contest ceremony.

And here's the one who won the Sta Cruz de Tenerife contest.

On top of the young girls vying for queen-hood, there are also contests for queen in the child and over-65 category. I particularly liked the older women's pageant, since the younger girls seemed to disappear inside their dresses. The older women wore their dresses better and the fact that most of them were a little bigger helped them to hold their own against the dress and in the end, they looked more majestic.

This was one of the older ladies "dresses". She's in there somewhere, but you can't see her because of the angle of the pic.

A couple more:

The Murgas.

These are groups of people who dress up alike and dance in the parades. This years theme was "Magic" and you can sort of see that in the costumes in a roundabout way. The kids in particular are really sweet.

There were all kinds of people parading: little kids, old people and everyone in between and nobody seemed sky of showing skin, even the older heavier ladies.

Everyone else

You can dress up or not. Most of the crowd didn't. There were a variety of themes, mostly low-cost.
I was particularly surprised by the amount of guys dressed as women. Over thirty percent of the men who were dressed up, had chosen to do so as women, nurses and maids being the most common. There seemed to be no minimum age for this and I kind of wondered what the point was sometimes, since I have a hard time telling a ten year old boy dressed up as a girl from a ten year old girl. Well, I guess they know they're dressed up and that's what counts. One or two solved the problem by painting on mustaches to achieve the total man-to-woman effect.

There are a lot more pictures. I'll try to post a few more tomorrow.

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