El Carnaval en España

carnaval España

It’s “Carnaval” week! This celebration takes place every year between February and March, and it fills the streets with colors and music in a very cheerful atmosphere. Even though this year most events have been cancelled due to the pandemic, let’s take a look at what you’ll hopefully be able to see next year.

“Carnaval” has a religious origin. Leading up to Lent, it’s a period of celebration and excess before parties and fatty food are prohibited for forty days. Traditionally, it was said that there were no restrictions during this celebration, so people decided to wore a mask to ensure their anonymity during such a crazy celebration.

The biggest and most famous “Carnaval” festivals are:

  • Carnaval de Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Islas Canarias): it’s the most international and it lasts 3 weeks. It’s full of music, parades and elaborated, colorful costumes. One of the main events is the designation of the queen of the “Carnaval”.
carnaval tenerifecarnaval las palmas
  • Carnaval de Cádiz (Andalucía): it lasts 10 days and it has a rather humorous approach. The associations participating prepare satirical songs and costumes, and there’s traditional music.
Carnaval Cádiz
  • Carnaval de Sitges (Catalonia): it lasts for 7 days and it’s not as big, but it has been celebrated for more than 100 years. It’s open to all ages and it offers a wide range of activities and contests.

The celebrations end on Ash Wednesday. It’s a more solemn event consisting on a parade, at the end of which people observe the burning of a figure in the shape of a sardine (event known as “El entierro de la sardina”). It symbolizes letting go of the past to welcome spring and a new period.

entierro de la sardina carnaval

Have you ever participated in the “Carnaval” celebrations in Spain? If there a similar celebration in your country?

Let us know in the comments!


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*Imagen Carnaval de Tenerife (reina): por Tamara Kulikova. Extraída de Wikipedia, con licencia Creative Commons BY CC 4.0
*Imagen Carnaval de Las Palmas (baile): por Juan Ramón Rodríguez Sosa. Extraída de Wikipedia, con licencia Creative Commons CC BY-SA 2.0
*Imagen Carnaval de Cádiz: por Emilio J. Rodríguez Posada. Extraída de Wikipedia, con licencia Creative Commons CC BY-SA 2.0
*Imagen Entierro de la sardina: por Diario de Madrid. Extraída de Wikipedia, con licencia Creative Commons BY CC 4.0

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