Just how many different types of carnivals are there in Spain?

I wish I’d gone to the Cadiz festival before my kids were born. Now it’s going to be a few years until I join in the masses and get dressed up as a pirate, chicken, or prisoyaner and go on the lash for the weekend while trying to understand the chirigotas being sung in the streets of Cadiz.

Chirigotas in Cadiz. Photo by Canal Sur

It’s not like I’m sitting about moping that I never went, crying in my cup of tea while watching it on the TV. It’s just that I saw this interesting article on El Pais (in English) with photos and descriptions of the 15 must see Carnivals in Spain, and by the end of it realised that I’ve never seen the carnival here. Hopefully I’ll get a chance later in life. Maybe I could go with my kids (if they let their embarrassing Dad with them) when they are in their late teens.

By the look of the list in the article, I’d be most interested in seeing the one in Tenerife, and also in Cadiz. Tenerife for its Caribbean style, and Cadiz because I’ve heard so much about it and would be interested to see if I could get into the actual Gran Teatro Falla to see the Chirigotas final, which is a competition of satirical songs taking the mick out of real life, politics and culture.

Have a look at this video for an idea of what you could expect.

I have seen quite a few festivals and carnivals around the world. The biggest was in Bahia, Salvador, for the Brazilian carnival. That was 5 days of drinking, partying, dancing, and pure mayhem. It took about 15 days to get over it. Another of my favourites was Songkran in Thailand, which was a water festival welcoming the start of the summer, also an amazing atmosphere and great if you want to get to know just how mental Thais can get.

Here in Seville there isn’t really a carnival as such, but the two mains festivals are Semana Santa, around Easter as it’s a religious festival, and La Feria, which is more about dancing Sevillanas, going on the attractions, and drinking rebujito. I’m more of a Semana Santa freak, rather than a Feria one. Have a look at these previous blogs for a deeper insight.

What I will and won’t miss about Semana Santa in Sevilla

What does my head in about la Feria in Sevilla

The carnival is quite popular with Sevillanos though. My kids are both doing carnival type activities this week. My daughter’s nursery are putting on a little parade with all the kids. Last year I watched my son in it dressed up as a rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, but he wasn’t too impressed. This year he’s got a fireman outfit to wear for a school parade. My daughter’s outfit is a surprise. We bought her some beige tights and cardigan, but the nursery will dress her up. Looking forward to seeing that this Friday!

What about you? Have you been lucky enough to experience the chirigotas in Cadiz, or would you say other places in Spain have a better carnival vibe?

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