I hope you all had a lovely Christmas, but now it’s over and therefore time to look at what comes next. The answer is: carnival.
My overall mission is to experience as many carnivals in as many countries as possible. So far I have managed Venice, Cologne and Basel.
Lacking the time and funds, I can´t make it to Rio this year, but no hardship there. I am after all living in Spain and Carnival is HUGE in this country. The most famous are in Cadiz and Tenerife. Haven´t decided which yet, but here is what it´s all about.
I have visited Cadiz in the summer and just loved it. A vibrant city with fabulous beaches on the Atlantic, makes for quite a difference from the Mediterranean. Add to that the Andalucian spirit of enjoying life and it doesn´t come as a surprise that many think the Carnival in Cadiz is as good as Rio. It dates back to the 16th century and was inspired by the one in Venice, a city Cadiz traded with at the time.
This year it´s celebrated from 12th February to 22nd of February with processions, concerts, comedians performing in the streets, fireworks and, at the end, the burning of a massive papier-mâché sardine.
Everybody wears some kind of disguise, the more outrageous the better and dancing, singing, drinking and general merry making goes on day and night.
What´s unique though is the contest of singing groups which perform satirical songs,t he final being held in the Teatro Falla. The Plaza de la Cathedral is the venue for rock bands, so you see, there is something for everybody.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
The beautiful capital of the largest Canary island is the scenario for the carnival event which is even more internationally popular than the one in Cadiz and a true competitor with Rio. Or not a competitor, more a twin, because Santa Cruz and Rio are sister cities.
Parades and the burial of the sardines resemble the rituals of Cadiz but here the emphasis seems to lie on the crowing of the queen which takes place on the Wednesday. It is all just a touch more glamorous.
Having visited Santa Cruz in the summer I wouldn´t mind going back and seeing it in full carnival swing.
Where to go? I might have to toss a coin!