Well, well, what do you know?
Although certainly not known for being one of the major carnival cities, Madrid actually throws quite the raucous celebration this time of year. Packed with family friendly activities, a frolicky parade, whimsical chirigotas and of course, a fancy masquerade ball, the city proves, once again, that crisis or no crisis, the fiesta must always go on.
Madrid’s Carnival commenced this past Saturday with the official Pregón in the Plaza de la Villa. El Pregonero gives the official speech that marks the beginning of Carnival and this year, the charming Carlos Sobera had the honor. He gave a short and sweet speech peppered with the obligatory creesus jokes and of course, more than a few sobre mentions. Carlos managed to work up the crowd just enough before receiving the key to the city and making a quick exit.
This was my first time attending Madrid’s Pregón and I absolutely loved it … and was simultaneously extremely creeped out.
Following the opening speech, the parade was kicked off by Don Carnal’s entourage (actors from the Morboria Teatro Company) who symbolized the seven deadly sins. Along with characters from Goya’s famed The Burial of the Sardine, court jesters and various monsters entertained the crowd representing “music, celebration, light and joy and the people of Madrid enjoying their freedom”.
Well, okay. Whether it was a celebration of sins or freedoms may be up for debate but, either way, they were all super creepy. Behold:
So, although the crowds at these types of events usually have me cowering in a dark pub somewhere hunched over a cold caña, I rather enjoyed being creeped out by Madrid’s Carnival this year.
The party continues this week with quite a few concerts and expositions in the Centro Centro, the Matadero, and the Conde Duque. And of course, the actual Sardine Burial takes place on Wednesday. Check out munimadrid.es for details.