The Carnival of Cadiz

February 28th of 2019 is a very important date around all the peninsular territory, as in a few weeks we can enjoy one of the best celebrations of the year: Carnival. This festivity takes special relevance in many towns and cities of Andalusia, but only in one of these cities it is especially known. Take a seat and hold your masks because we are going to talk about the Carnival of Cadiz.

The origin

Carnival is an ancient festival that begins just before the Lenten period, from a Thursday to a Tuesday. Its comes from the festivities in honor of the god Bacchus in Roman times, although some experts say this celebration started around 5000 years ago, in ancient Sumeria and Egypt. In Cádiz, however, this carnival takes a lot of influence from the Genovese carnival, after the XV century. The first testimonies that we have of the Carnival of Cadiz are from the late sixteenth century, where it is written that the women threw each other flowers from the pots in the street as a joke. There were many attempts throughout history to prohibit this celebration because of its non-religious character, they couldn’t stop it, and that’s why it continues nowadays.

The chirigotas

Monument to a “chirigota” singer

It was in 1862 when a celebration program was established for the first time. It was used to limit the carnival festivity and it included different things, such as tablaos or fireworks. Nowadays, The Carnival of Cadiz lasts eleven days counting only the official days. With the parallel festivities there is a month of celebrations!

One of its greatest attractions are the chirigotas. These are musical groups where the interpretations are always made in a humorous and satirical tone, trying to make the audience laugh with the staging, the music and the lyrics. There are different chirigotas depending on the number of people in the group and the type of music that is performed, from the pasodoble to the jota.

Enjoying the Carnival

The best thing you can do is staying in Cadiz during those days and enjoy the Carnival there, although better on the city outskirts! Because if not, the noise of the streets will not let you sleep. If your budget does not allow accommodation at these dates in the city, you can also take a round-trip bus for the carnival from another city, such as Jerez, El Puerto de Santa María or Sanlúcar de Barrameda. All these cities are very close to Cádiz. Although, be really careful  if you are waiting in the street for the bus until dawn! The temperatures get really cold at night.

Finally, we hope you enjoy the Carnival from February 28 to March 10 this year 2019.

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