Spain has always been a country rich in festivals and festivities, and carnivals are also a part of it.
There are many differences between every carnival party in each city but, as we all say, diversity is what makes it beautiful. However, they all have the same characteristics in common: tradition, parades and lots of fun.
But… Where does this tradition come from? Carnival in Spain emerge from The middle ages through a fusion of diverse Pagan and Christian festivities, concretely, Lent. We are lucky to have two of the best carnivals in the world, after the most famous carnival, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. These are the Carnival of Cádiz and Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
The Carnival of Cádiz is considered as a Festivity of International Tourist Interest. Assistance is compulsory if you’re in your Erasmus in Andalusia. The soul of the party are the different carnival groups that represent the Official Contest of Carnival Groups that takes places at the Gran Teatro Falla. Even so, you can also enjoy their comparsas, chirigotas, quartets and choirs in the streets of the city. The best day to enjoy this party is Saturday, March 2nd.
The Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the second best carnival of the world and, as in Cadiz, it is considered as a Festivity of International Tourist Interest. There are regular concerts of Latin artists during this festivity, this year will have the visit of Juan Luis Guerra and Orishas, among others. This carnival is very similar to Rio de Janeiro’s.
As a curiosity, during the Franco dictatorship, the celebration of the carnival was canceled but in the town of Agüimes they forbade this prohibition and continued to enjoy this festival thanks to its great Carnival tradition.
The third most important Carnival in Spain is in Badajoz. If you are in Extremadura you can not miss it. It is a very colorful carnival, similar to that of Brazil or the Canary Islands. It is characterized by its murgas, comparsas and parades. The best day to enjoy the Carnival of Badajoz is Sunday March 3rd.
Although these are the most important carnivals in Spain, they are not the only ones. Each city has its own way of celebrating it. After all, the Carnival is a party to enjoy! Do you have your costume ready?