Must Experience: Carnival of Cádiz, Spain

The following is a guest post by Heidi of the family travel blog Wagoners Abroad.

About 15 years ago, my husband Alan and I had the opportunity to experience Carnival in Venice, Italy. To this day, it is one of our fondest travel memories. Since we are currently living in Spain, we thought we would expose our children to such and experience. This is an experience like no other and full of fun and excitement no matter which way you turn. Carnival of Cádiz is one of the best-known carnivals in Spain.

The entire city and many visitors participate in nearly a two week fiesta. This marks the beginning of Lent, the forty-day period before Easter and people often dress up in costumes during this time marking an overturning of daily life. We were only able to spend opening weekend there, but we have a good feel for the festivities and the energy of events.You can't help but join in and be a part of it all.

It is difficult to capture all of the energy and fun, but I will do my best to give you a peek.

This is one of the main plaza's in Cádiz, where people gather to socialize and enjoy the festivities. Even though all of the streets are extremely crowded, we had no trouble finding great vista points with the kids.

Groups of people dress alike for a few reasons. 1. They may be a singing group. 2. Everything looks better in mass. 3. It is so much easier to spot each other in the crowds' day or night.

Here Heidi, Lars and Anya are doing their best to join in with the festivities and be “in costume". This is a little tough when you are traveling, but we made the most of it.

All around town you will find activities and parades of all kinds. This particular event was a parade of the Chirigotas. These are singing groups of people that practice all year long to enter the big competition, but often perform in the streets throughout the week. Their songs are often very humorous.

Even though it was all in Spanish, we had no trouble laughing along with the crowds. Some may be leery of having their kids in crowded events, but I would say this one seemed to stay under control.

The streets of Old Town are pedestrian only. During Carnival, you will find them filled to the brim with people. Just about every corner or plaza you will see groups singing with an audience. It was a fantastic fun way for the kids to enjoy this cultural event.

Of Course when we wanted to take a break from all of the parties and events, the East Side of the Atlantic Ocean was there for our pleasure. This was such a magical event and we not only experienced a cultural event, but we were able to be with the locals and explore their beautiful city. We take pride in making sure our kids get the full experience of the event and balance that with play time. The kids will remember this experience, via sights, sounds and smells for some time.

About the Author

Heidi loves to travel and has been to more than 35 countries and all but 5 of the U.S. States. She has a wonderful husband and 2 children that also have a passion for travel. The kids (Lars 10 and Anya 8) have been to several states and countries themselves. They recently sold their house and all of their possessions to move to Spain and soak up the culture. She loves to write about their adventures and share it all on social media. You can follow the WagonersAbroad on their blog, Facebook and YouTube, Twitter.