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Carnival Weekend
14 February 2019 @ 18:17


Of all the crazy Spanish fiestas that take place throughout the year, there is nothing wilder than the Carnival celebrations starting this weekend. The week leading up to Lent is a time for wild partying in some parts of Spain when the country plays host to Europe’s biggest and best Carnival festivals.

There are a few speculations on the origins of Carnival in Spain. Most popularly it is believed the term Carnival derives from the words “farewell to the flesh,” a reference to the excesses that led up to the somber Lent. Some suspect Carnival is derived from the Roman solstice festival, the Saturnalia, where participants indulged in much drinking and dancing. Saturnalia is believed to have had the first parade floats, called the ‘carrus navalis’. With these pagan roots, it’s easy to see why the dictator General Franco banned them for forty years!

Carnival in Spain is celebrated nationwide though the most raucous festivities are in the Canary Islands, Cadiz and Sitges. While each town has its own unique flavour of celebration they all have a devotion to having a good time. In these main destinations during Carnival it seems that no one sleeps as the drinking and dancing go from dusk until dawn. You’ll see extravagant costumes and people in masks everywhere and, in any of Spain’s Carnivals, you’ll have a lot more fun participating in the masquerading than you will just watching.

Although on a different level to the Canary Islands, Carnival will kick off in the Russafa district of Valencia this coming Saturday; it's time to get your costume ready and prepare for this multicultural festival when the streets of this emblematic neighborhood in Valencia get full of color and joy. Angels and demons live together in balconies and windows, and you can hear the first chords of acoustic music concerts that flood every corner and every street. 

The carnival activities in the neighborhood of Russafa begin on Saturday, February 16th, at 16:00 pm, with the Proclamation of "Russafa a Peu" at the Market of Ruzafa. That day coincides with the opening of the exhibition "A les balconades" (In the balconies), an activity which fills with art and creativity the balconies in the neighborhood.


More than sixty groups from different countries will participate in the event. With the collaboration of the neighbours, a number of additional activities complement the programme. Fifty local entertainment and hospitality businesses, as well as several cultural, social and artistic groups, are also partners in the initiative. So if you happen to be in Valencia this weekend, there is plenty to keep you busy!

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