Not wanting to rush into my second blog entry, I had a good think about this one and have decided to write about a topic that I hope you will find fun and maybe even a little interesting. So here goes…
While hundreds of thousands of people, in fact let’s go into the millions, have been celebrating CARNIVAL all over the world, I’m taking a moment to reflect back on my own experiences of the wonderful world of fiesta and fancy dress!
After numerous years living in Spain (a tale that I want to and will get in to…but I’m afraid that once I get started I just won’t stop ha!) I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy many festivals, and celebrating carnival was possibly one of my favourites! I think generally people tend to associate Carnival with Brazil, or CarnAval (emphasis on that second A ha!) as it’s known over there and in other latino countries. However, these festivities are celebrated all over the world in many different fashions each year. Today though, I’d like to share with you my stories of Carnival in Spain.
Carnival is a Christian festive occasion that takes place during the season of lent. The main parades, parties and celebrations tend to fall in February or very early March and I remember my first Carnival party being in February of 2008 whilst on my “study” year abroad. I’ve been a ladybird, I’ve painted my face, I’ve messed up my hair, and on a few occasions just thrown on something sparkly. Although I myself have never been too adventurous when it comes to costumes, I have had the chance to check out numerous imaginative attires covering a range of styles and themes!
While I’m sure the costumes I have seen may not be as spectacular as those in Brazil, but in the small village of Cabezo de Torres (region of Murcia, South Spain) people certainly made a great effort. Big feathers, bright colours, and massive heels were usually the theme and year after year I was always impressed by the amazing creations people came up with. My first Carnival experience in this little village, I stumbled on completely by accident. One Tuesday night after a long day’s work, my room-mate and I heard music pumping and vibrating in the distance and we decided to get in her car and follow the sound…we came across a huge street party in the centre of the village, big stage DJ and all. Being quite late, we found out that we had missed a grand parade and prize giving for top costumes, nevertheless we still enjoyed a boogie and a few beers! We only stayed a couple of hours, but I’m sure we came home with a feather or two (ha!). After my first visit there, I became a regular at Carnival celebrations in Cabezo de Torres.
Not wanting to ramble on much more I’ll leave you with the names of the top Carnival destinations in Spain, and invite you to get adventurous, throw on something vibrant and check out next year’s celebrations.
Canary Islands, Cadiz, Aguilas (maybe my favourite). My friends and I boarded a train at 10pm on Friday or Saturday night (I forget when) and we returned the following morning at around 8am. It was a night to remember in Aguilas. The biggest and finest Carnival celebration in the area. It is located on the south coast between Murcia and Almeria and is a fiesta full of parades, shows, competitions and much more!