From the 20th of February until the 1st of March, Cadiz bursts to life during its world-famous Carnival. For ten days the city celebrates with parades, music, singing, dance, food, competitions, street shows and, of course, fireworks. Visitors arrive from all over the world for this event, reputed to be the largest in Spain. The first parade, Gran Cabalgato, takes place on the first Sunday of the carnival. Ten thousand people are expected to pack the streets for the procession.
Cadiz carnival was influenced by the carnival at Venice, with which city Cádiz had much trade during the 16th century and is now considered the premier carnival in Spain. It is a party that officially last ten days but often carries on for up to three weeks. Even before the official start you will find ‘rehearsals’ on various streets with bands practising, bars overflowing onto the footpath, roads closed using impromptu barriers and costumes being tried for size. The Police cheerfully ignore such innocent fun, after all, this is the only carnival in Spain that Franco could not ban.
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