Carnaval is celebrated nationwide in Spain, and it seems that no one sleeps as celebrations go from dusk to dawn.
All the gaditanos (people from Cádiz) take the party to the streets: food trucks offering local produce and chirigotas, popular songs that mock current events. Celebrations in Tenerife in the Canary Islands are renowned worldwide. Like famous Brazilian Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, the most original and glamorous dress is voted Queen of the Carnival as part of the festivities.
There are a few speculations on the origins of Carnaval in Spain. Most popularly it is believed the term Carnival derives from the words “farewell to the flesh,” a reference to the excesses that led up to the sombre Lent. Some suspect Carnival is derived from the Roman solstice festival, the Saturnalia, where participants indulged in much drinking and dancing. Saturnalia is believed to have had the first parade floats, called the ‘carrus navalis’. With these pagan roots it’s easy to see why the dictator General Franco banned them for forty years!
To join in Carnival celebration, enjoy our special cocktail Chirigota, available throughout February.