5 things to know about (and enjoy!) Malaga Carnival

5 things to know about (and enjoy!) Malaga Carnival

5 things to know about (and enjoy!) Malaga Carnival


The Malaga Carnival (and Carnival in Spain in general) is usually held in February or March, depending on the movable feast of the Christian calendar, Holy Week. This celebration usually lasts nine days. At Coeo we love this colourful celebration and we would like you to discover how exciting, fun and fascinating it can be in Malaga, with the main events being concentrated around the two weekends it covers.

1. A Catholic festivity but a pagan festival

The Malaga Carnival has deep roots in Andalusian and Spanish culture, with traditional music, dances and costumes. In fact, it is believed that the Spanish Carnival was born in Cadiz after the passage of Venetian merchants.

However, in Spain, the festival has an origin that has a lot to do with religion. During the 40 days of Lent (the period before Easter), Christians deprived themselves of certain pleasures. Therefore, just before Lent began, they celebrated a few days of uninterrupted feasting in which they ate meat in quantity and enjoyed themselves to the fullest before the period of abstinence. Thus, what was really a kind of preparation for Easter gave rise to the Carnival as we know it today.

As for the pagan side, this celebration often includes elements of satire, parody and a bit of social criticism through the performances. In the case of the Malaga Carnival, in addition to all this, its parades and processions have a historical and cultural significance that reflects the traditions and customs of the region.

2. Constant fun and colourful parades

Colourful parades and extravagant processions are a significant part of the Malaga Carnival. Participants, often in elaborate costumes and masks, dance through the streets accompanied by music, creating a lively and festive atmosphere. What is more, there is a costume contest in Malaga, and it is, undoubtedly, one of the highlights of the carnival. People dress up in a variety of creative and imaginative outfits, often with a humorous or satirical twist. So, if you like partying, dressing up can be a great way to fully immerse yourself in the festivities and have a lot of fun!

Apart from the parades, the Malaga Carnival features quite a few street performances, including live music, dance, and even theatrical acts, providing locals and visitors with a vibrant street atmosphere.

We should highlight as well the lively nightlife celebrations in the city during this festival. Already Malaga is known for its vibrant nightlife, but the Carnival brings an extra dose of excitement. Explore the city’s bars and clubs, where you’ll find themed parties and special events during these days.

Málaga Carnival
Image source: https://visita.malaga.eu/

3. Cultural events for everyone

Although some events may be more adult-oriented, during Malaga Carnival there are activities and entertainment options for the whole family. Parades, workshops and children’s events make it an inclusive celebration for all ages. Even more so, if we take into account that the Malaga Carnival is characterised by its inclusive nature, constantly encouraging participation. Locals and tourists alike are welcome to join in the festivities, dress up and take part in the celebrations.

In addition, the city offers a wide range of cultural events for all tastes during these nine days. For example, art displays, workshops, and performances that showcase the local culture. And if you are a photography enthusiast, it will be hard for you to find a more suitable period to fill in your camera with colour and a unique vibrant atmosphere.

It is equally a must to visit the designated carnival fairgrounds in Malaga, where you’ll find amusement rides, games, and more. It’s a great place for families and those looking for a fun and festive atmosphere.

Malaga Carnival, gastronomy

4. A perfect occasion to enjoy music and gastronomy

Of course, carnival is a good occasion to enjoy music and traditional gastronomy. Various musical events, including concerts, live bands, and performances by local artists complete the celebrations during these days. Therefore, you have to know that many venues across the city host musicians and bands playing a variety of genres. So if music is the centre of your existence, then you absolutely have to come to Malaga during Carnival!

Besides, what is a celebration without food! Street food stalls and vendors offer a variety of traditional and local delicacies during the Malaga Carnival. It’s an excellent opportunity to savour the exquisite Andalusian cuisine. Make sure to try regional specialties and enjoy the festive food atmosphere!

5. El Entierro del Boquerón

We come to Ash Wednesday (Miércoles de Ceniza in Spain) to celebrate the event that rounds off (in theory, as the following weekend there are also quite a few events in many places) the carnival celebrations.

As a curiosity, in the Malaga Carnival, it is not the Entierro de la Sardina (Burial of the Sardine) that is celebrated, but the Entierro del Boquerón) (Burial of the Anchovy). You probably already know how famous the ‘boquerón malagueño’ is: a sea delicacy that you can eat crispy fried or marinated in vinegar, garlic, and olive oil. In fact, the demonym of this city (the colloquial one) is ‘boquerón’.

Although the atmosphere on Ash Wednesday is generally solemn, the Entierro del Boquerón in this vibrant city is also a unique opportunity to experience the living spirit of Andalusian celebrations and connect with the local community.

· coeo ·

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*Featured image source: https://www.laopiniondemalaga.es/

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