Carnival in Spain: The fiesta of the year

Each year, your group can take part in carnival, one of Spain’s most vibrant and lively events. Celebrated in February or March, 40 days before Easter, you will find thrilling parades, beautiful costumes and fabulous parties all over the country. Each city and region has its own take on the festivities – here are some of our favorites!

Cadiz: Music and laughter

The southwestern coastal city of Cadiz is less about glittering costumes and elaborate floats than it is about humor and wit. During this time, the city streets fill with groups of troubadours in costume, singing and playing musical instruments. Their songs – which are original lyrics created throughout the year – are satirical and make jokes about politicians, celebrities and well-known community figures. The different carnival groups organize open-air meals where they play their songs, making it a great chance to take part in the celebrations while sampling local cuisine. Do be aware – costumes are obligatory at the Cadiz Carnival!

Águilas: Releasing the Mussona

This colorful event held near Murcia features some particularly famous traditions. One is the tossing of cascarones de confetti, which are eggs full of confetti, and another is cuerva, a traditional drink of wine and fruit. There is also the popular paper costume competition, with spectacular disguises made entirely of paper. Don’t miss the kick-off of this carnival, which involves releasing the Mussona onto the city streets, a character that is half man and half beast.

Xinzo de Limia: A flour festival

The carnival of Xinxo de Limia in Galicia is the longest carnival celebrated in Spain, taking place over five weeks. The celebrations begin three Sundays before the actual carnival on ‘Fareleiro’ Sunday, a hilarious battle that guarantees everyone present will get covered in flour. This is followed by ‘Oleiro’ Sunday, a tradition that involves throwing water into the air from earthenware pots onto people gathered below. The festivities finally end on Piñata Sunday, with a parade of floats and troupes led by a group of masked characters called pantallas. Adorned with jingling belts, they are in charge of making sure people dress up and have a great time.

Haro: The carnival of wine

In the heart of La Rioja, one of Spain’s most renowned wine-producing regions, this carnival is truly decadent. With all the parades and fireworks found at carnivals throughout Spain, the Haro celebrations feature a special attraction. This is, naturally, plenty of great wine. It is abundant in the streets, and many of the local wineries present their special vintages. If your group needs a break from the party, they can try a vineyard tour and tasting – there are lots of options in the area.

Carnival on your tour

If you are on tour in Spain during Carnival, it will be hard to miss the celebrations – but we can help you to make the most of them. Remember, this is a popular time in Spain, so don’t wait to make your plans and get in touch today!


Katharina Giesler

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