“Los Carnavales is one of the best-known carnivals in Spain. The whole city participates in the carnival for more than two weeks each year and the presence of this fiesta is almost constant in the city” -https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnival_of_Cádiz
I went to Cadiz, an ancient port city in southwest Spain on a strip of land surrounded by the sea, with a few of my Sevilla friends. I arrived in Cadiz at 7pm and left at 2am. Cadiz is a big deal around Spain because it is a carnival that some people prepare a year in advance for. The carnival dates back to the 16th century and it was the only carnival Franco couldn’t ban, however people singing and dancing in the streets were not allowed to say the word “carnaval” (andulacia.com). Hundreds of people are singing and dancing in the streets of Cadiz in costumes ranging from German Beer men to Totem Poles. My friends and I dressed up as Native Americans with feathers in our hair, war paint on our face, and dream catcher necklaces (I was inspired by Dances With Wolves- one of my favorite movies). We were also one of the groups to win best costume of the night!
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see the parade. The parade takes place on a Sunday and I was there on Saturday. Gran Teatro Falla is where all the singing competitions take place throughout the two weeks. Rock bands play at Plaza de Catedral, which is where I spent most of my night. Surprisingly, I ran into two people from my high school who are also studying abroad in different parts of Spain. I met a few people from Cadiz and got to chat with them. I even added one of the people I met on whatsapp and he asked me to go on a date with him! Too bad I live 2 hours away
Here are a few of the performances that take place at the carnival every year:
- Chirigotas – These are humorous groups that perform satirical pieces about everything from politics to current events.
- Choirs – These groups of singers may be funny at times, serious at others. They tend to be out and about, entertaining people in the streets accompanied by stringed instruments.
- Comparsas – These are the most serious singers at the festival. They are known for their more classic musical talents and the more serious content of their songs.
- Quartets – They don’t have to stick to the traditional four – but then, this is the carnival, after all. Time to break the rules! And they are most often accompanied by none other than a kazoo and the beating of sticks.
- Romanceros – These are the solo acts at that roam the streets to entertain visitors and locals alike.
- Event information found on Andulacia.com
If you like carnivals, beer, mucho gentes, music, and bright colors, I would suggest you make a day or overnight trip to Cadiz, Spain. The city borders the sea so you could check out the beach as well. It is a two hour bus ride from Seville, Spain.