It was something pending on my list and I did not want to wait any longer. As the Carnival of Cádiz is one of the most famous in Spain, I had to go there and explore the entire city to experience all that was going on during Carnival.
Unlike most carnivals, focus on the showiness of the costumes, the imaginative attire is which people in Cádiz give more importance to. However, the main attraction of this carnival is the criticism, parody, and sarcasm involving the city during these days.
The 2018 Cádiz Carnival will be held from 08th to 18th of February.
Origin of the Cádiz Carnival
The roots of the Cadiz Carnival are found in the influences that the city received during the 16th century, when vessels from all over the world arrived at its port. However, it was Venice in particular, that left the biggest mark.
Over the years, the carnival of Cádiz has evolved to become such a unique carnival with a special soul.
How Cádiz celebrates its Carnival
Gastronomic fiestas such as oyster, sea urchin or fried pastries parties are organized by the carnival clubs a week before the beginning of the Falla Competition.
During the Carnival holidays the streets in Cádiz are full of life with, on the one hand, Choir Carrousels-parades of the groups who compete at the Falla Theater-offering tangos to everyone; on the other hand, the ‘illegal’ groups , bands formed by groups of friends, clubs or colleagues, who participate in the carnival performing on the streets.
The first Carnival Saturday is the day in which many people wear fancy-dress costumes, either individually or as a group (known as ‘tipos’)
Two parades take place in Carnival, the most popular one on the first Sunday. The other one, the “Humor Parade” through the centre on the last Sunday.
Music group competition
Another peculiarity of Cádiz Carnival is the Official Contest at the Gran Teatro Falla. More than 100 groups of four styles participate at the competition stage. After several weeks of performances, four groups per style arrive at the semi-final. The final takes place just before the first Carnival Saturday.
In spite its long duration, the show is followed by thousands of people on radio and television.
Bits of Advice & my point of view
I was surprised by the choir carrousels, so well prepared, such great singers. The way of parodying and the lyrics of their funny songs. In fact, I did not expect such incredible performances on the streets at all.
The gastronomic fiestas organised by the carnival clubs are a great place to get into the spirit of the fiesta, enjoy yourself and, at the same time, taste the cuisine of this part of Andalusia. It was for the first time I licked sea urchin. Its salty taste simply reminds me of oysters. But truly speaking, I am not one of those seafood lovers…
Cádiz is worth a visit anytime, and not just because it is the oldest inhabited city in Spain and maybe in entire Europe. If you go during Carnival, you won´t only discover a beautiful city full of history, but you will enjoy the inventiveness and sense of humor of its people. So, I highly recommend it.
And remember, if you want to attend the final Competition, book the tickets a long time in advance, otherwise they will run out.