What is Carnival?
Are you ready to participate in one of Spain’s biggest and most celebrated festivals? A huge street party filled with live music, dances, floats and costumes – The Carnival of Cadiz is one you shouldn’t miss!
Though the entire Spain celebrates, Carnival de Cadiz is one of a kind because it’s the city that celebrates the longest. People in this city definitely know how to party. This large city settled on Andalucia’s Atlantic coast has been hosting this festival since the 16th century, taking influence from the carnival in Venice, a major trading partner of Cadiz at the time.
When is the celebration?
The jam packed weeks of celebration spring from Christianity and take place two weeks leading up to the Lenten season. Given that during this season, many choose to fast and abstain from things like alcohol and meat, therefore those in Cadiz celebrate with a crazy party before a time of solemnity. This year, carnival celebrations will take place from the 20th of February to the 1st of March.
What can you see?
Live Music and Costumes (Tipos + Chirigotas)
Music plays a big role in the carnival; blasting in every corner, with festival-goers dancing around to the beat of the drum. It is common for bands to gather on the streets and perform musical ballads while dressed in funky costumes, like chirigotas, which are costumes that put a satirical tone to controversial topics. Head on over to the Plaza de las Flores, and be amused by the abundance of various performers. A famous competition of official groups is held at the Gran Teatro Falla, where you are sure to be entertained! Take note of the songs they sing too, as a lot of them are comical in tone!
Street Parades and Floats
The festival is known for extravagant street parades, where intricate floats with dancers and gymnasts on board! Here you will find amazing performers delivering nothing but a great time. The parades are a favorite event for all ages, and are certainly a sight to see!
How should you dress?
The more the merrier!
Keep in theme with the carnival, grab some friends and do a fun group costume! Not only is it more fun to dress up collectively, but it’s also a good way to keep track of everyone in your group in the sea of festival-goers!
Grab some friends and do a group costume.
In this festival, there are no rules in regards to how you should dress up! Go all out and find the craziest costume you can find. Put on your creative hat, and find a popular pop-culture reference you can use. Be as specific as possible when deciding what costume to wear. If you are an American, you may be thinking this is similar to Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans LA, but this isn’t the case. A boa and some beads aren’t going to be enough here.
Comfort is key. Be mindful of the weather!
As in any trip, comfort is key. When you are deciding what your costume will be, remember you will be wearing it all day and late into the night. Remember that comfortable shoes are absolutely essential too, as there will be loads of walking and dancing. Be sure to be mindful of the weather; this festival occurs in February so it might be a little chilly come night time, so pack up some layers for when the sun goes down.