Running from mid February until Ash Wednesday, carnival time is a big thing in Spain. It is celebrated all over the country and in many different ways, reflecting the rich and diverse cultural heritage of Spain and its regions.
If you ever happen to visit Spain at this time of the year, chances are you’ll find yourself in the midst of a frenetic carnival procession packed with colourful samba groups, musicians, amazing costumes, giant puppets, ancestral figures, decorated floats… imagination has no limits.
So why not get involved and play a part? Before leaving home, be sure to pack an appropriate outfit and get carried away in the joyful jubilee. We have some recommendations for you on where to go for some unique carnival experiences along the north coast.
If you’re up for reliving some of your worst childhood nightmares, the small mountain village of Piasca in Cantabria is just the right place to head to. Covered in animal skins and wearing creepy animalistic masks, the locals will chase you with their brooms while heading to the neighbouring village of Los Cos, running from door to door and begging for sausages, eggs and bacon… yummy, how did they come up with that tasty combination?
The Entroido Carnival in Lazo, Galicia, is another fiesta that is deeply rooted in local culture and heritage. Here, up to 150 ancestral figures, wearing traditional clothing and representing Galician taxmen from the 16th century, run through the streets whipping anyone who tries to stop them. Can you think of anything scarier than that?
In neighbouring Asturias, in the city of Avilés, the carnival spirit comes to life with a procession of floats of all sorts of shapes and sizes, decorated with naval motifs. On the Saturday of the Carnival, the crews descend Galiana Street while firefighters spray foam and cold water from several cannons, turning the fiesta into a huge and very wet water battle.
From Asturias back to Cantabria, where the Sailor Carnival (in Spanish Carnaval Marinero) is held in the coastal town of Santoña. As one of the busiest fishing ports in the region, famous for its delicious anchovies, the participants here all wear fish costumes. The most exciting part of this weeklong celebration is the representation of the so-called ”Trial at the Bottom of the Sea”, where a court made up of different species of fish and presided over by Neptune, put to trial a sea bream for kidnapping a mermaid.
We told you, imagination has no limits. When it comes to having a good time, Spaniards know how to do it… and during carnival week maybe even a little bit more just to celebrate that the ban put upon them under Franco’s dictatorship has long gone!
Fancy a different fancy dress experience? Visit Northern Spain next year in February!
We have plenty of properties available to rent in or near the above mentioned areas. Check out the beautiful houses below or visit our website for more info!