Carnaval – Parades, Costumes and… Sacrificial Sardine Burnings?


Various locations and prices – websites below

Dates: Feb 1-3, 6

So you can’t jet to Carnaval in the Canary Islands or
Brazil? Big Deal.
Did you think Madrileños would miss the opportunity to celebrate one
of the biggest parties of the year? Of
course not! With 11 different districts in Madrid hosting their own celebrations, you’re
sure to find festivities close to you.

Carnaval is the celebration that takes place before
Lent, the Christian, pre-Easter period of purification. Of course, it’s natural to binge a bit before this period of simplified living and carnaval revelelers have raised this “bingeing” to an art form. Combining elements of street fairs,
parades and costume parties, the event will leave all your senses satiated. The
celebrations start Friday, February 1st, and end on Ash Wednesday, Feb 6th.

This weekend, it’s a non-stop party on the streets of Madrid, as children and
adults alike take part in costume contests and parties.
Highlights for the weekend include:

Desfile de Carnaval 2008 (parade) starting at
Retiro Park – 19:00, Feb. 2

de Carnaval
: (a costume ball) held in the Círculo
de Bellas Artes – Feb, 2

The costume contest in Vicálvaro District, where the
top prize is 1000 euros – Feb. 2

Teatro para
niños Especial Carnaval. Baile de Mascaras en Centro Integrado Alfonso XII
(Fuencarral – El Pardo) Children’s Theatre
and Masquerade – Feb. 3

Processions for Entierro de La Sardina, The Burial
of the Sardine
, various locations – Feb. 6

And all the madness culminates with… a fish funeral? The tradition of the Entierro de la Sardina (Burying of the Sardine) marks
beginning of Lent, and funeral processions will be held throughout Madrid. The procession, however, does not end in the
actual burial of the sardine; like most festivals in Spain, it ends with the burning of
an effigy! By doing so, we destroy
all the sins we’ve committed throughout year especially during Carnaval!

If you’re ready to commit some sins or just want to
take the kids for some good fun, check out the following links for the Carnaval
activities nearest you:




And if you are a bad boy or girl, no worries just burn
a fish and you will be forgiven!


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Theater in Madrid – Festival Alternativo de las Artes Escénica


See links below for schedules, venues and prices.

El Festival Alternativo de las artes Escénica, in its 8th
year, provides Madrid
and surrounding areas with ground-breaking performances from around the country
and the world. Drawn from various
disciplines within the performing arts, this year the festival will present an
impressive array of work between Jan 30th to February 24th.

The schedule is divided into categories
called ciclos/cycles including Musica/Music, Perspectiva/Perspective (best of 2007),
Perfil/Profile (an opportunity to focus on the work of particular
artist), and more.

Perhaps one of the most interesting of these
is the Cyclo Autor presenting new authors.
is the focus this year inviting three British playwrights. Some works have been translated into Spanish,
but My Arm by Tim Crouch is in

Other English-accessible works are found in
the music and international selections. In
terms of theater, both Poetic Disasters (Holland)
and Elegy for the Brave (Austria)
will be presented in English.

Another lure of the festival is the reasonable price – many tickets range from 0 to 15 euros. For a day-by-day calendar of events click here.


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