Most people in Southern Europe are very familiar with Carnival – and so are the Brazilians and other South Americans. If you’re from anywhere else, you might not know Carnival. For example, the British celebrate Pancake Day instead. It’s easy:
Carnival is a very old holiday – older than christianity. It’s so old nobody knows exactly what it celebrates. But for the last a thousand years, it allowed Catholic populations to be crazy one last time before the 40 days of sacrifice that precede Easter. Got that?
Very few people still go through those 40 days (Lent) of sacrifice, but is that any excuse to stop partying?
No, of course not.
When is this Carnival in Madrid?
It’s this weekend! Friday the 13th, Saturday the 14th , Sunday the 15th are the main days, but the parties and festivities only officially end next Wednesday.
Carnival in Madrid 2015 – you can’t miss:
Erasmus Carnival Party – The ESN (Erasmus Student Network) is organising a carnival party. Everybody dressed in costumes, best costume wins a prize. Everybody with an ESN card get discount at the door and beer+sangria open bar from 22.00 to 00.00.
@Planet, Calle Principe 20
Grand Choclate Party – and masquerade ball. Apparently, everybody will get together to drink hot chocolate and eat churros, while trying not get their costumes dirty.
Friday 13, 20.30
@Plaza de Puerto Rubio
The Grand Carnival parade – entirely dedicated to Part II of Cervantes’ Don Quixote. Different companies and associations represent different chapters, dressing up as characters from the most famous Spanish adventure. The costumes are amazing, the cars are crazy, this is the main event of Carnival in Madrid. Don’t miss it.
Saturday 14, 19.30.
From Retiro Park to Plaza de Cibeles.
Fireworks display – dedicated to Saint Valentine! It’s going to be an absurdly awesome fireworks show accompanied by really loud music. If any of your friends has a house with a good view of the city, this is where you have to be. If not, you can always join the crowds in the street!
Saturday 14, 21.00
@Plaza de Cibeles
Coming Together of the Krewes – if you already understand Spanish, come to the Plaza de la Villa for an afternoon laughing. 6 Carnival groups summarise what has happened this year. They’ll make fun of everything and anything: no rules, everything goes.
Sunday 15, 12.00
@Plaza de la Villa
The Burrial of The Sardine – this bizarre ceremony closes the carnival. The Happy Brotherhood parade a single sardine across the city, and then bury it in a coffin with all Royal pomp and ceremony.
Wednesday 18, 18.00
From Puente de la Reina Victoria to Fuente de los Pajaritos.
Carnival in Lavapiés – Go to Liber Arte, in Lavapiés for a Brazilian and Bohemian weekend! Plenty of events throughout the days, including Samba class Sunday, and singalong choir Monday.
Friday 13 – Monday 16
@Liber Arte, Ave. Maria 32
And remember! If you need to find student accommodation in Madrid – or you know someone that does – you’ll find the student home you’re looking for on Uniplaces.com.