Carnival in the Spanish department!
Of all the Spanish fiestas that take place throughout the year there is nothing wilder than the Carnival celebrations!
The week leading up to Lent (late February, early March) is a time for great partying in some parts of Spain when the country plays host to Europe’s biggest and best Carnival festivals.
There are a few speculations on the origins of Carnival 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 food, drink 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!
Carnival in Spain is celebrated nationwide and the most incredible festivities are in the Canary Islands, Cadiz and Sitges. While each town has its own unique flavour of celebration they all aim to having a good time. In these main destinations during Carnival it seems that no one sleeps as the festivities go from dusk until dawn. You’ll see extravagant costumes and people in masks everywhere and, in any of Spain’s Carnivals, you’ll have a lot more fun participating in the masquerading than you will just watching.
At Blackheath, the Spanish department wanted to celebrate the carnaval atmosphere with a mask making competition. Participants had to create a mask with a Spanish flavour. The results were outstanding. It was very hard to choose but our four winners were Vasilisa and Filippa in Year 7 and Isla and Stella in Year 9. Fabulous work. Well done.