CARNIVAL AND THE BURIAL OF THE SARDINE
Although you will find carnival celebrated in various countries around the world, the Spanish certainly know how to make it a time to remember.
Carnival is an annual event taking place before lent each year with each Spanish town and village taking part with their own celebrations. In many villages celebrations will start the week before with school children taking part in various activities each day in the run up to the main festivities including face painting and fancy dress.
Like most fiestas, carnival has religious roots and is a celebration of life and plenty before lent is observed by those who wish to. Carnival is celebrated with parades, street parties and fancy dress which according with tradition normally includes a mask or disguise providing a chance for people to consume in excess and join together and celebrate as a community.
As with all fiestas, Carnival is enjoyed by everyone no matter of age with something for everyone. Carnival in Spain is celebrated in February or March, 40 days before Easter, these dates vary each year. The main carnival celebration is held on a Saturday night all the way through to early hours of Sunday morning.
Some places have become famous for their carnival celebrations, the most famous in Spain being Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Cadiz.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife attracts party goers from around the world to join in the fun. In 2019 it is estimated some 400,000 people attended the celebrations. The carnival is so large it is said to be second in size to Rio in Brazil which is why the towns have been twinned.
Cadiz hosts the most famous carnival on the mainland, enjoying humour which tends to mock the main issues of the day as well as music, street parties and fancy dress. It is a good idea to book in advance if you would like to visit as hotels and guest accommodation will get fully booked as thousands of people head to Cadiz to have fun.
This week to mark the end of Carnival and to receive Lent the Spanish celebrate the Burial of the Sardine. A false funeral procession is celebrated that parodies the burial of a sardine-shaped figure that walks through the streets of the towns before burning it, There are several versions of its origin. Symbolically, what it represents is to bury the past and to grasp with more strength the new period ahead.
The night the burial of the Sardines is celebrated a procession is held where the participating people go dressed in mourning clothes. After the burning of the sardine figure during the night there are plenty of street parties, fireworks and laughs amongst the locals.
If you would like a full timetable of events in your town or village contact your local town hall or tourist information.
If you are planning on joining in have a wonderful time.
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