The events of the Spanish carnival


How to celebrate in Madrid:

The traditional opening speech in Plaza de la Villa, Saturday the 9thof February at 18.00, marks the beginning of the 2013’s Spanish Festival. This grand festival will fill the city of Madrid with a joyful mood, party and fantasy. Just as previous years the festival contains events such as: The Big Parade, where fancy dressed professionals take the streets of Madrid, the Masquerade Dance, which is a program specifically dedicated to children, and much, much more.

To make it easier for you to understand the program and choose what to attend in this five-day carnival, Babylon Idiomas has put together a list containing information about some of the most important events.

El Desfile: 19.00, 9th of February

carnaval madrid

After the opening speech, and a theatrical recreation of how Don Carnal’s entourage took over the streets of Madrid, the city hall will hand over the gigantic key of the city to the new herald and the real festivities will begin.

A great deal of floats and people will tour the city of Madrid in grand masquerade costumes. The show will start with a recreation, by the Morboria theatre company who will recreate the main characters of Goya’s painting “The burial of the Sardine”, representing light and joy, music and freedom.

Another part of the “desfile” is the Rigoletto, a big group of actors on roller blades performing down the street in fast tempo, inspired by both the Baroque and Modern times.

But of course to get to know more about the particular events of “El Desfile”, you can read a longer explanation in the Program.

Las Walkirias: 20.30, 9th of February

Upon the parade’s arrival to Cibeles the spectacle comes to an end with a confrontation with the Wotan, the vain and cheating God. Our hero Siegfried will have to fight him to the death and the only way possible is by breaking his spear.


During the in-between days of this five-day festival you can enjoy the extraordinary concert of Madrids Symphony band, the Masquerade ball installation and the very funny group:  “Meeting of Murgas and Chirigotas”  who, with their wits, costumes and funny scripts, will take you by storm.

But if you are not interested in the specific outdoor festival, you can find hundreds of cultural, musical and party events taking place in honor of the Carnival.

The burial of the Sardine- The end of the festival

After  five days of great fun it all has to come to an end on the 13th of February with the Burial of the Sardine. This old tradition is to silence the fanfare, store the costumes and bury this humble fish with honor.  The march of the burial starts in Plaza San Antonio de la Florida and takes about 2 hours to walk. After passing different streets of Madrid, listening to a speech, baptizing the novices you finally get to Casa de Campo, where the fish is buried. In the park a great pyre is lit, in which all of our bad actions will burn, and of course peace and harmony will rise from its ashes.


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