Spanish carnivals

About the carnival in Venice or Brazil known, perhaps, to everyone. Even him whom it is hard to call an avid traveler. But, it turns out that carnivals have a huge geography – Germany, French Riviera, Italian Tuscany…Spain.

Stay on the Spanish carnival. It is the largest in Europe and second in the world after the famous Brazilian carnival in Rio de Janeiro. The parade 1987, when the streets of Santa Cruz de Tenerife all night dancing at the same time 240 thousand people, was even listed in “the Guinness Book of records”. I was convinced that Spain is famous for bullfighting and flamenco…

Especially in this year of the Spanish carnival (Tenerife) will be held from 18 February to 5 March under the motto “the passion of the tribes”, so maybe someone else will be able to become, if not a party, witness for sure.

Schedule of events:

February 22 – the Queen of the carnival

February 24 – parade of floats and decorated cars

February 28 – Obliquely – the height of the Carnival. Costume party, carnival procession and festivities, great fireworks.

March 1 – “the funeral of the sardine”

The Spanish city in February will swirl the carnivals of Cadiz, Barcelona, Madrid, Malaga… But despite the General “script”, Spanish carnivals have their own specifics in different cities… the Capital of the Carnival is considered the city of Santa Cruz in Tenerife.

The carnival in the Canary Archipelago originates from the first years of colonization of the Islands. Until the 18th century, there is virtually no precise mention of the holding of this exciting event. There are only some fragments of short stories by different authors, and later, a series of official regulations regarding carnival, but rather a “Special prohibitions.”

The first mention of the carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife belongs to the second half of the 18th century, however, this does not mean that they were not conducted in the earlier period. There is evidence that during the reign of the Catholic monarchs on certain days was a public satirical speech maskers. Local residents from traditionally wealthy families feast and dancing at home, where, in addition to music, games and masquerade was organized and theatrical performances. At the same time, the common people also had fun during the carnival, dancing not only at home but also in the taverns, on the streets and squares.

Based on historical facts, it appears that in 1523 Carlos I issued a law prohibiting the holding of masquerades, during which people dressed in different costumes and masks. King Philip II also hampered the conduct of the masquerade, and only since the reign of Philip IV, this holiday began to gain certain limits and form. For example, in 1638, the king and all his court participated in a mock fictional wedding at which the Admiral of Castile, and other nobles were dressed as women, count Olivares – porter, the king himself in a servant, and the Queen in a working commoner.

From the mid 19th century, when Santa Cruz was already the capital of the Canary Islands, carnival dances began to move from houses and streets, in public places, such as the municipal theatre and the casino. In 1852 the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife adopted municipal regulations governing all spheres of life, including the holidays. These orders were of great importance for the further development of the celebration of carnival. In eight articles, the provisions of this feast was given statutory recognition and the right to conduct, but has also established a number of specific limitations. During these years, occurs still living tradition of participation in the carnival student and Amateur musical groups.

With the beginning of the 20th century, the carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, there have been many innovations that gave them more attractive. One of these innovations have become camelids parades type races, the feature of which is that the riders are seated on camels and not horses. At the carnival 1900 riders came all the way, leading the ongoing fight, during which they fired at each other eggs and serpentine. Also by 1900 the first mention of the funeral Sardines in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, which took place in almost all districts in the capital.

Masquerade is one of the mandatory pieces of the carnival. Members of the carnival processions are competing in the manufacture of masks and costumes. This often happens around women and men: men often wear women’s clothes and women men’s. In the North of the country are the animal masks. Boys often throw on the skins of cows, sheep or other animal. Often appears Ildiko (xaldico, saldico) – “horse”. One of the young men clips on her belt wooden frame with hanging behind the ponytail, the front frame is attached to the image of a horse’s head, covered it all with a blanket or cloth. This character is in festive processions and behaves like a horse, jumps, kicks, laughs. Near Ildiko often there is another carnival character – siripat (ziripot – made), something like a “buffoon”, comedian, receiving a beating. Siripat dressed in huge, made of solid bags pants and a large shirt. His clothes stuffed with hay, he moves with difficulty, and every Sundry, seeking to knock them down.

Ends the carnival “funeral of the sardine” (Entierro de la Sardina) is action, something reminiscent of the Russian Shrovetide. Huge fish from papier-mache, symbolizing the spirit of the leaving feast, burned under nesthama moans and the sorrow inconsolable widows, which is usually represented mustachioed men. According to the legend, the king ordered to bring to the table live fish to throw a feast in honor of the carnival, but on the way she died. Then the townspeople gave her a magnificent farewell. Since only thus end the carnival – under a funeral March. 😉

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