Tenerife has its carnival queen

This year there were 19 nominees for Queen of the Carnival of Santa Cruz. (AFP pic)

SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE: The Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, one of the biggest in the world, has its purple and white feather, glitter and gold-clad queen after a colourful contest at a gala night that ran into the early hours of Thursday.

Nineteen women competed for the top prize, wearing tall, dazzling dresses with names of their own — “the night”, “kiss me” or “at dawn, I will conquer”, all of them several metres high and weighing dozens of kilos.

Residents in Tenerife, one of the islands in Spain’s Canaries archipelago, prepare the carnival for months — an age-old tradition which annually draws tens of thousands of devotees, including tourists.

The gala night to pick the queen in the island’s capital Santa Cruz de Tenerife is one of the carnival’s biggest events, broadcast live by regional and national television.

At the start of the gala, giant, illuminated replicas of jellyfish, dolphins and fish sailed through the audience, immersed in a dreamy representation of the deep sea.

Now that the queen has been elected, music, dance and street parades will get into full swing.

The carnival began on February 1 and ends on Mar 10.