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Canary Islands Carnival

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Category: festival
Where: Canary Islands, Spain
When: 15 Feb - 13 Mar 2017
Website: http://www.lpacarnaval.com

One of Europe's biggest carnivals, this grand street party is a lavish spectacle of extravagant costumes and Latin American dance music to rival that of Rio de Janeiro. For years under the Franco regime, Carnival was suppressed for its irreverent frivolity. It begins with the election of a queen of the festivities and builds up to a climax on Shrove Tuesday when there is a large procession. The 'funeral' of an enormous mock sardine takes place on Ash Wednesday. Carnival is also celebrated on the islands of Lanzarote and Gran Canaria.

Although carnival is held in all the islands, Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria are the two places where it is really celebrated to the full. Because of its carnal nature and pagan origins, carnival met with the disapproval of the church and civil authorities for centuries. Although recognised as a National Festival of Tourist Interest in 1967, carnival was held under the name of Winter Festival until 1976, when it was freed from the censorship of Franco´s dictatorship and came to be called Carnaval once again.

The programme includes the entertaining murga competitions, the rhythm of the comparsas, the transgression of the Drag Queen Show, the spectacular election of the Carnival Queen, the outlandish body makeup contest and the fun of the street parties, with crowds of people dancing in fancy dress.

The tourist areas of all the Islands also hold their own carnival events, providing a surprise as well as a pleasure for the large number of visitors who take a look at or even participate in what´s going on. Travel in the Lap of Luxury for Less with Expedia.com.au!

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