Cádiz is a serene, peaceful, and relaxing city, except for at Carnival. Every year between late February and mid March Carnival comes to Cádiz transforming it into the party capital of Spain. If arriving at this time be prepared for Carnival in Cadiz.
The Carnival in Cádiz is said to be the third largest in the world. Rio de Janeiro and Trinidad come before. The fun all started in the 17th Century. Venice and Genoa would host decadent carnival celebrations every year. Cádiz, being another prominent port city at the time, decided to keep up and do the same.
Nowadays the Carnival is a fantastic mixture of Andalucian flamenco, African and Creole rhythms, sambas, and Columbian music. Any music and dancing is welcome (as long as it's loud and colourful).Preparations often seem messy and slow. You'd often wonder how they pull it together in the end, but they do, perfectly.
The main attractions of Carnival are the singing groups, locally known as ‘Chirigotas’. Formed by locals themselves, they best represent their love for the city. In the local theatre, ‘Gran Teatro Falla’, an official singing competition is held in the twenty days leading up to the Carnival itself. Once the winners are declared the groups head out onto the street corners and squares to perform for the people.
The Plaza de Cathedral also hosts some excellent rock concerts. Some of Spain's most popular groups perform here. There is also the daily ‘La Torunda’ (thunder) that takes place in the Plaza San Juan de Dios. It's an insane, mind-shattering firecracker display.
Every available space is used up. Stages are set up on all the plazas for musical performances, comic acts, and children's shows etc. The carnival also includes numerous colourful parades, with dancing children in crazy costumes. If your feeling adventurous you could try the Carnival rides in 'Parque Genoves'.
There are loads of things to do and see and ultimately Carnival is a celebration of all that is Cadiz. We hope that this useful information helps and be sure to bring a costume for Carnival in Cadiz, anything goes!
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