The days leading up to Lent are carnival time and the Spanish need no excuse to get out the fancy dress and join in the fun.
Andalucía hosts one of Spain’s biggest and most famous carnivals in the city of Cádiz. Hundreds of thousands of revellers throng the streets each year to soak up the party atmosphere and take in the spectacular sights and sounds that make it such a special event.
Other lively carnivals are held in the Canary Islands and at Sitges, near Barcelona, but away from these massive street parties the event is also celebrated throughout Spain—although maybe not to such an extreme extent.
The carnival in Marbella this year starts on Saturday, February 6th and continues until Sunday February 14th, and festival organisers have promised to bring a taste of the famous Cádiz humour to proceedings with guest appearances by five star turns from that city.
Although there are events planned throughout the week, the carnival does not take over the streets of the town to the extent they do in Cádiz, where anyone spotted wandering around not in fancy dress is regarded as a bit of a spoilsport. But that is no excuse not to put on fancy dress and join in yourself.
Saturday (February 6th)
9pm. The carnival proclamation (pregón) will be read by Ángel Rielo at the Téatro Ciudad to officially open the event. This year’s ‘Venus and her Nymphs’ and ‘Dios Momo’ will also be presented.
Sunday (February 7th)
The children’s parade will leave the plaza del Santo Cristo and finish with a party on the Paseo de Alameda. The children’s Venus and Momo—or carnival king—will be selected by lottery. There will be competitions for the best fancy dress in the categories for individuals, couples and groups.
From February 8th to 11th
The Teatro Ciudad will host the semifinals of the musical competitions, with the final event to be held on the 12th. The children’s ‘chirigotas’ (choirs performing satirical and humorous songs) final will feature on the 10th and the winning school will be awarded a lavish children’s party.
Saturday (February 13th)
The traditional Humour Procession and main Carnival Parade will take place on Saturday 13th. There will be a show at the Palacio de Congresos headlining Cádiz group El Sheriff amongst others. The €5 entrance fee will be donated to charity.
Sunday (February 14th)
Parade and ‘burial of the sardine’ to officially close the festivities.
These are just some of the events planned. The full programme has not yet been published. So keep an eye on the website of Marbella town hall.