As we in the US finish celebrating the Oscar wins, Spain Carnival kicked off. In case you did not know, Carnival occurs just before Lent and is celebrated all over the world. Some of the most famous Spain Carnival celebrations occur in Cadiz, Tenerife and Sitges. Although each area celebrates in their own way, the one thing they do have in common is making sure everyone has a good time.
In Cadiz, Spain, Carnival becomes more of a musical affair as groups called chirigotas take to the streets to sing their songs. The people of Cadiz are known to have the best sense of humor in Spain so they take their gift and express it in song. Costumes are less flamboyant than what you might expect for Carnival as the themes are usually more political in nature and having to do more with the everyday. The chirigotas are choir groups that sing witty and satirical songs about politics and current events. They tend to wear the same costume as they take to the streets on carts to sing their songs.
When most people think of Carnival, visions of decadence and extravagant celebrations in Brazil or the West Indies is probably what comes to mind. Celebrations in Cadiz are probably the ones that most resemble what happens in Rio and even aspire to be a World Heritage Site. Costumes are flamboyant and colorful, festivities are plentiful and a Queen of Carnival is presented with a crown. This is the largest and most important Spain Carnival celebration. In 1980 it was declared Festival Tourist International, meaning that it is not to be missed if you are planning on visiting Spain during Carnival.
Catalonia also does their own Carnival celebrating. The seaside town of Sitges is the place to see some of the best drag talent. Participants and also those who just want to take a peek come from all over the world. There are two themed parades that take place. The first is Rua de la Disbauxa or Debauchery Parade which takes place on Sunday night and Rua de l’Extermini or Extermination Parade which takes place on Tuesday night. Overall, another great place to see some creativity and be entertained.