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Cadiz Carnival

Carnival in Cadiz

Cadiz Carnival. Find out information about the Carnival in Cadiz, Spain. The Spanish fiesta ist the third largest carnival celebration in the world.

Grab your friends, leave your valuables behind, and get yourself to southern Spain for what quite possibly may be the most rowdy experience of your life.

Carnival in Cadiz is said to be the third largest Carnival celebration in the world (after Rio de Janeiro and Trinidad). Both European jet-setters and locals know and crave the intense energy that pervades the city during the ten days leading up to Shrove Tuesday. It seems that everyone within a thousand-mile radius show up to partake in the fun. Many visitors choose to snooze on park benches or stay up all night instead of booking hotel rooms.

Cadiz is a quiet and serene city on the Andalusian coast, except when it plays host to Spain's ultimate party. The fun began in the 17th century when the city of Cadiz tried to keep up with the decadent carnival celebrations in Venice and Genoa. The crews of the Spanish galleons that brought back gold and silver to Cadiz from the New World also brought back a variety of musical influences that are still evident at today's Carnival revelry. African and Creole rhythms, sambas, rangeuras and rustic Colombian tunes all intermingle in the streets with local Andalusian jaleo songs and traditional flamenco music.

As often happens in Spain, preparations for Carnival seem a bit last-minute and haphazard, but everything comes together beautifully in the end. Black-clad abuelas hang garlands across the tiny, twisting alleys, and street vendors set up their displays of toys and fruit just an hour or two before the throngs descend. Stages are set up in every plaza for musical acts, comedians and children's performances. And there are also rock concerts featuring some of Spain's most popular groups in the Plaza de Catedral. Another treat is the daily "La Toronda" (The Thunder), a massive, eardrum-shattering of firecrackers that takes place in the Plaza San Juan de Dios.

For those seeking more conventional pleasure, the Carnival roster includes numerous raucous parades, dancing children, exhuberant costumes and beauty pageants. And, in the Parque Genrives, there is a midway of carnival rides that one must see to believe! It becomes so crowded in the tiny, cobblestoned streets that at times the city looses shape and metamorphoses into a mountain of people.