Carnival is almost here! Dates in 2019: March 1 – 6
Learn more about Carnival history and other Spanish Carnivals. http://www.bridgetospain.com/carnival/
City Hall preview program click HERE (not updated at posting time, should be up by Feb 22)
Carnival in Malasaña neighborhood, HERE (not updated at posting time)
Again the Carnival program has varied from the traditional program – more activities in different neighborhoods, more multi-cultural. That’s good – but the current page is a little hard to navigate , and I don’t see link for English version (alas).
These are the usual main events:
Carnival Friday. Mostly kid’s events in afternoon-evening (fun parade, City Hall and in Malasaña). The Pregón kickoff speech is back on Friday (where it belongs, thank you very much).
Carnival Saturday. Hmmmm. lots of events during the day, but I don’t see the traditional parade, not in Vallecas like last year or city center. If you find it and want to go take note: the traditional big Carnival parade usually has some lightly-clad people and maybe some light-hearted naughtiness (not toooo naughty but you should know before just in case). Maybe a concert afterwards. // Costume ball in Circulo de Bellas Artes, starting 11.30pm, tickets 30-40 euros. If you can’t go, maybe you can hang out nearby to see the costumes, usually fabulous. More info and get tickets http://www.circulobellasartes.com/espectaculos/carnaval-post/
Carnival Sunday. Murgas and chirigotas. Various groups in costume with song, dance and original poetry, mostly jokes or satire on recent events, sort of an oral history of past year. Best if your Spanish is good, but fun to see the costumes anyway. This is very traditional but can’t see where / when it will happen this year.
Ash Wednesday. Burial of the Sardine, marking end of Carnival and beginning of Lent. Starts 6pm more or less, at San Antonio de la Florida chapel by Casa Mingo. Mock funeral procession for the dearly departed .. sardine, organized by the Merry Brotherhood of the Burial of the Sardine. Complete with mourners in capes and tophats, women in black with veils, all wailing their grief at the death of the … sardine. The pallbears courteously stop for occasional viewings of the deceased.. sardine… or break into dance and loop the loop with the coffin. Slow procession to edge of the Casa de Campo for the Burial (aprox 8.30pm), stops at bars along the way to better bear the grief. Return to San Antonio chapel. This is lots of fun, if you haven’t seen it you should go at least once while here, though patience is useful because it’s pretty stop and go so you may need to roam to find the fun in the procession. Kids might or might not get it. Take your cameras. As a side note: if you can’t go in the afternoon, you could try to find their morning strolls near the upper Rastro, or around 2pm in Plaza de la Villa where the Mayor(ess) shares the mourners’ grief for the dear, departed sardine. Get more info at http://www.elentierrodelasardina.es/entierrodelasardina/Inicio.html (ummm. this website showing 2017 event is unlikely to change much) NOTE: this is not an official City Hall event. As of 2017 there seems to be a Burial of the Sardine in Vallecas which may be a new “official” event, and as pages are still not updated, I’m not sure if the Vallecas event replaces the traditional Burial (surely not! gasp!!) or is an additional Burial – there used to be more than one.