The fiesta continued here in Puerto de la Cruz this week with the very bizarre Burial of the Sardine, which celebrates the end of the carnival.

Burial of the Sardine, Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife
Burial of the Sardine, Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife

It is basically a parody of a funeral procession where the object of grieving is a giant effigy of a sardine, this event always falls on Ash Wednesday and is a  symbolic burial of the past and marks the beginning of lent leading up  to Easter.

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Burial of the Sardine, Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife

The funeral procession is a mockery of the church where the participants dress as mourners, nuns and priests.

The  widows wail in their grief, most of the widows are men dressed as women  to add to the mockery. It's all very entertaining and lots of fun.

Mourners at Burial of the Sardine, Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife
Mourners at Burial of the Sardine, Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife

The procession is led by drums and a band that alternates from playing the funeral march to very upbeat dance tunes

Band at Burial of the Sardine, Puerto de la Cruz
Band at Burial of the Sardine, Puerto de la Cruz

The initially procession winds its way thought the narrow streets of Puerto de la Cruz to Playa Martinánez, here all the mourners gather into an even larger procession which then proceeds slowly along the seafront promenade of Martiánez back through the towns streets to the harbor, where the sardine is put into the sea and burned in front of a large crown lined along the harbor.

Priests at Burial of the Sardine
Priests at Burial of the Sardine

This  is all very strange to us non-Spaniards, but this ceremony is carried  out across Spain, its roots set long in the past. It is said to be  because Charles III ordered Sardines to be delivered to the fiesta of  lent in Madrid, all of which spoiled because of the hot weather, it was  ordered all the sardines be buried, and this quickly became a tradition.

Mourners at Burial of the Sardine
Mourners at Burial of the Sardine