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Posts Tagged ‘parades’

every year in late february the streets in some of spain’s most prominent cities and destinations turn into the stage for colorful and vibrant street festivities. carnival in spain is full of smiles, fun, music and most importantly spectacular costumes and street parades. the period leading up to the start of the 40 days of lent is a time to celebrate and enjoy the atmosphere of high spirits and the feeling that everybody can be whoever or whatever they have ever dreamed about being. the word “carnival” is believed to derive from the words carne (meat) and vale (farewell), a reference to the upcoming abstinence from meat and certain types of luxuries as a form of penitence during the days of lent. because of the importance of catholic holidays in spain, the celebration of carnival, an important part of the religious calendar, is widespread throughout the country. however, the festivities in cadiz, tenerife, sitges, la palma and badajoz are no doubt in a class of their own.

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experience the spanish carnival spirit during celebrations all over the country

cadiz

every year the laid-back atmosphere of this beautiful city on the andalusian coast is suspended for one week to host one of spain’s biggest carnival celebrations. the focus of cadiz’ carnival is on music. wherever you go in the city, streets are filled with a variety of different music groups performing songs, most of them full of irony and social criticism. these songs satirize everything from pop stars to politicians and their catchy tunes bring fun and laughter into the streets of cadiz. carnival season 2015: Febuary, 12th to 22nd for the full event calendar, please visit: www.guiadecadiz.com

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carnival in cadiz is all about music

tenerife

tenerife is known for spectacular landscapes and luxurious resorts, but also for its up to three weeks long celebration of carnival. tenerife’s carnival with its grand parades, spectacular floats, performing bands, brazilian-style ensembles and thousands of people in costumes is only beaten by rio de janeiro as the top world destination for celebrating carnival. be sure to head to santa cruz de tenerife to enjoy what is often considered to be one of the world´s most important annual festivals. watch the colorful parades starring the candidates for the carnival queen election in spectacular costumes that take months to design and make and sometimes weigh more than 200 kilograms. it is sometimes easy to miss the contestant under all the feathers, beads and satin. election of the carnival queen 2015: February 11th for the full event calendar, please visit: www.carnavaldetenerife.com

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the carnival queen in her elaborate costume

sitges

about 40km south of barcelona, the carnival celebrations in sitges belong to the most outstanding events in the catalan calendar. up to 300,000 visitors come to sitges during carnival season every year to enjoy electrifying parties with fancy clothes, feathers, sequins and plenty of skin. sitges has a large lgtb community and during carnival you will see some of the most glamorous drag shows and amazing parades that show off decorated carriages and cross dressers in some of the boldest, brightest costumes you have ever seen. carnival season 2015: February, 12th to 18th  for the full event calendar, please visit: www.visitsitges.com

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find some of the most extra-ordinary costumes in sitges and enjoy its colorful nightlife

la palma

the highlight of la palma’s carnival celebrations, “los indianos”, is celebrated on carnival monday in the capital of the island, santa cruz de palma. this special festivity celebrates the return of the “indianos”, those who left la palma between the 16th and 20th century to migrate to south america. women wear white dresses combined with their finest jewelry while men wear white linen suits and traditional panama hats. popular accessories include straw hats, silk shawls, wrist watches, cigars and old leather suitcases as symbols of the success of their ancestors’ venture. cuban music fills the streets of santa cruz and white powder is thrown all around the city and on the re-enacting “indianos”. dia de los indianos 2015: february, 16th 

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throwing white powder is traditionally part of the carnival celebrations in la palma

badajoz

this beautiful city close to the border to portugal hosts one of the most important and famous carnival festivals in spain. watch the well-known group parade where people from all over the provice participate in to show off their colorful and original customes completed by sophisticated choreographies and music tunes from the street bands contest. carvival season 2015: February, 13th to 17th   for the full event calendar, please visit: www.aytobadajoz.es

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thousands of people come to badajoz to enjoy the famous carnival parades

there are numerous other carnival festivities all around spain, all of them full of fun and carnival spirit and guaranteed to make you smile. buy a costume or mask and celebrate spanish carnival with us!

for more information on carnival in spain please visit http://www.spain.info. and for more information on tours to these destinations and tips for hotels and transportation, do not hesitate to contact us. we will be happy to assist you to make sure you have a great time during all the carnival festivities around spain.

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spanish people love to celebrate and christmas is no exception in that regard! the festive period that proceeds christmas covers a large part of the december month and is build up by many national bank holidays. if you come to barcelona during the month of december, you should definitely have the following special dates in mind in order to fully experience the catalonian christmas vibe:

• 6 December – constitution day (bank holiday)
• 8 December – day of the immaculate conception (bank holiday)
• 25 December – christmas day (bank holiday)
• 26 December – boxing day (bank holiday in catalonia)
• 1 January – new year’s day (bank holiday)
• 5 January – parade of the three kings
• 6 January – three wise kings’ day (bank holiday)

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christmas lights in barcelona

christmas celebrations in spain basically implies many colourful christmas lights spread out over the city´s main streets and boulevards, extensively decorated nativity scenes and many food stalls selling sweet almonds or roasted chestnuts. all of this creates a lovely festive atmosphere that forms a warm welcome for all the tourists visiting spain at this time. for spanish people this time is characterized by many family gatherings and local customs as spain is a country with comprehensive cultural roots. below we will discuss the some of the most important events, main traditions and must-see sights in barcelona.

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hotel majestic 5* fully decorated for christmas

the real christmas holiday season in spain kicks off on december 8th with dia de la inmaculada concepcion (day of the immaculate cnception). this is a religious celebration and catholics around the country rejoice the magical “conception” of virgin mary in the local churches, but it’s also the time when the proper christmas preparations can start and all the stores in barcelona come to life with all kind of perky holiday decorations and music to cheer up the shoppers.

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el corte ingles, all lit up for christmas

to continue on the shopping note, christmas markets are probably the most common feature that pops to mind when talking about the christmas time for many people. barcelona is a city that upholds a strong christmas market tradition and every year both inhabitants and tourists can enjoy the beauty of the lit up stalls and the many special decorations and attributes that can be found there. the two most famous markets are the fira de santa llúcia christmas market and the fira de nadal at the sagrada familia.

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fira de santa llúcia

the fira de santa llúcia was first set up in 1786 and has since been one of the most important christmas fairs in town. its location, in front of the cathedral, and the fact is it is one of the oldest fairs in town contribute its importance as well. as is deeply rooted into the catalan christmas traditions, the market brings many stall that sell candles, scarves, sweets and of course nativity scenes, do not expect mulled wine here but enjoy over 270 stalls and live music instead. a very popular and traditional figure is “el caganer” (the pooper), to be found hidden in catalan nativity scenes and to be bought at all christmas markets. another special creature is the christmas “caga tio” (a smiley face log) from which the children receive their presents.

the market is open every day from the 28th of november till the 23rd of december from 10h30 until 20h30.

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many “caga tio” atributes are sold at the christmas markets in barcelona

the christmas market fira de nadal which is takes place in front of the sagrada familia every year and even tough it is much smaller than the fira de santa llucia yet very impressive due to its magical setting. It also focusses more on attributes that can be used to create a nice nativity scene. among others, one can find a wide selection of honey, sweets and candles.

this market is open every day from the 29th of november till the 23rd of december from 10h00 until 22h00.

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torre agbar during the month of december

when talking about christmas, the real city decorations can of course not be overlooked! here in barcelona the emblematic christmas lights were switched on by the mayor of barcelona, last friday and can be enjoyed in more than 300 locations and streets of the city. in catalan they are called “els llums de nadal”. the famous magic fountain of montjuic is part of the christmas lights as well and a special christmas water and music show can be enjoyed here in the december month. this show is always free and can be watched on fridays and saturdays in december and on 25th december and 1st january between 19:00 to 21:00. please keep in mind to dress warmly! another part of barcelona’s christmas lights is the torre agbar tower in the sant marti district, which lights up and shows a special christmas lights show displaying animated designs including christmas tree decorations.

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the montjuic fountain christmas-style

the three wise men parade on the 5th january is called the night of the three kings and marks more or less the end of the holiday season. here in spain, the christmas tradition is that the three kings bring the presents for the children instead of santa claus like in many other countries around the world. this night there is a big parade celebrating that the three kings have arrived and then, the day after the parade, on the 6th january, the children get their presents.

enjoy the most wonderful time of the year in barcelona!

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