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Posts Tagged ‘street party’

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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now that the sun is back on track it is time to enjoy a well-deserved break by the sea. and where better to hit the beach than in the charming town of sitges, located 35 km southwest of barcelona. this worldwide renowned city is most famous for its many beaches (there are 17!) and its vibrant nightlife. especially the waterfront with the numerous ´playas´ (beaches) is the perfect place to enjoy a delicious paella, play some volleyball with your friends or have a picnic while watching the magnificent sunset.

however, if working on your tan is not captivating enough, there is always the possibility to go and check out the fashionable crowd that strolls over Sitges´ endless boulevard. no doubt that you will encounter some interesting characters as many of Sitges´ visitors and inhabitants are gay. this aspect gives the city a special touch and contributes to the great variety of people and activities that create the open and friendly atmosphere. all caracteristic for this small town.

Sitges Boulevard

sitges´ boulevard

Sitges beach

sitges´ beach 

many people say that sitges has something for everyone and that is hard to deny! with its many festivals and local fiestas during the whole year, the cultural heritage of the city is celebrated and everybody is welcome to join the festivities. this past weekend was dedicated to the celebration of festa major and next in line is the international movie festival in october. 

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sitges´s old town

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festa major 

sitges is the perfect destination for a weekend break or a short getaway from busy barcelona. trains take you from barcelona to sitges in approximately 35 minutes and run every 20 min from barcelona’s main stations. below some more pictures of the stunning beaches, the beautiful old town and the endless boulevard of sitges. 

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catedral de sitges

sitges beach 2

sitges´ harbour and boulevard

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nowhere else are food fights as loved as they are in spain!

 

surely the most famous one, the mother of food fight festivals, is la tomatina in buñol, valencia. but leave it to the spaniards to find fighting potential in many other foods, and even drinks (from wine in haro, la rioja, to grapes in pobla del dec, valencia, to meringues and candies in vilanova i la geltrú, catalonia).

one less known spanish food fight festival, but at least equally ´dirty´ and fun, is els enfarinats, the flour fight in ibi, near alicante. it takes place on the 28th of december, which is perhaps the reason why there isn´t so big of a tourist crowd as for the summer festivals la tomatina or the haro wine fight.

the enfarinats is a game, a charade, a ludic battle between two opposing teams in a reenactment of the political situation of the region. one team, the enfarinats, acts as the government, while the other represents the opposition, and they fight for the control of the town. of course it is all playful fun, as the weapons used are merely flour and eggs, and the occasional firecracker.

enfarinats from 20minutos

 

the flour war starts between the two gangs, but spectators get quickly involved too. they are required to obey all the silly rules imposed by the ´government´, otherwise they will receive a floury punishment. no wonder nobody cares too much about obeying any rules, since everyone is there for some good laughs and fun!

enfarinats from socialphy

 

showing that some traditions cannot and should not change, the group of enfarinats is always made up of married men (absolutely necessary that they are married), usually 14, men that are friends in the ´real life,´ which means that it is not easy for an outsider to become an enfarinat. led by the pretense town mayor, the group collects ´taxes´ from all shops, trades and banks as a charity for the elders care home, which gives the whole day a meaningful scope in its playfulness. during all of this tax collection the epic street battles between the two groups don´t stop, which means that by the end, everybody is left looking the same, powdery white.

enfarinats from oppiminen

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perhaps unlike the tomatina, the flour food fight is more organized, it follows a plot, and participants play a certain role in the storytelling. it is thus a different type of fun: while the end result is the same (food covered faces and a distinguishable smell on the streets), els enfarinats is more about following, or even breaking, certain rules, rather than just getting the others and oneself buried under a mountain of flour (or tomatoes).

so if you find yourself on the eastern coast of spain during the winter holidays, stop in ibi on the 28th of december and admire these fighters carrying on some old traditions, or dare to participate and throw a fistful of flour in the face of the authorities!

 

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