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From: 2014.02.17 To: 2014.02.22
Pack your basic tiger-print jumpsuit, sunscreen, beach novel and a few cans of energy drink and head to the Canary Islands for the most eccentric carnival in Europe. Tenerife, a stone's throw from Africa, is a paradise for the absurd and the perfect place for discovering your inner insanity during carnival season. Locals will happily welcome you to the festivities as long as you are wearing something bright, printed, and glittery, and extra points for cross-gendered attire. The capital city, Santa Cruz, hosts the largest carnival on the island. Don’t miss the drag queen, dance show and high heels obstacle course competitions. Like any good carnival, the highlight is an elaborate Grand Procession with amazing costumes, some of which are rigged to pully-systems or require electricity. Plus, the Santa Cruz carnival is a dashing mix of African, Latin American and Andalucian influences. The madness ends with the Burial of the Sardine where a thirty-foot paper-maché fish is paraded through the streets followed by male "widows" in miniskirts and fishnets, wailing behind the flopping art piece. It's buried with flourish amid anguished screams. Follow the lead of the locals and be sure to rest during the days and only head out into the fray at midnight then stay until the sun rises.