Carnival is a celebration of pagan origin which was recovered during the Middle Ages and which mixes a variety of ancient cultures.
The means of celebration may vary in each country; in Spain are typical parades, costume parties, contests and chirigotas (popular songs critical of today).
In the early sixteenth century, the order of the clergy of the Cathedral of Malaga was in charge of choosing the wittiest boy of the choir who was dressed in the garb of the bishop and made a procession to the interior of the Cathedral where took place a parody of the religious ceremonies in front of thousands of locals disguised with masks; this event disappeared in less than 50 years due to the uproar it caused. It was not until the mid-eighteenth century when this popular festivity was recovered for the working class; during this period they changed their dark clothes into more colourful clothing.
By the end of the century was created the first troupe which in an ironic and funny way sang in honour of the god Bacchus and the coronation of the then king of Spain.
Carnival evolved and transformed each year until the arrival of the dictatorship during which it disappeared.
In 1978 and after the end of this dark period in Spain, resurfaced the intention to revitalize the Carnival and in 1979 they began to collect letters from old carnival street musicians (folk songs).
At present the Malaga Carnival is an event of significant importance in the calendar and is a date that is celebrated in many parts of the world; Carnival in Spain, unlike others, begins the celebration on Thursday, so the celebrations last up to six days.
Tuesday of Carnival is the day that precedes the fasting in the Christian belief and often takes different names depending on each country:
- Tuesday of Carnival in Spain, although it is not a holiday.
- Mardi Gras in French-speaking countries and the United States.
- Pancake Day in countries like Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland ...
- Faschingsdienstag in Germany
- Fastan in Sweden
- Martedi Grasso in Italy
- Terça-feira gorda in Portuguese-speaking countries
When is Carnival celebrated in Malaga?
It takes place before Easter; exactly just before the Christian Lent so the date is variable and is between February and March depending on the year.
Different localities and cities may opt to change the dates of carnival but there is usually a big parade in the streets.
You can take a look at our blog with the latest events and respective dates.
In 2017 the carnival calendar in Malaga is as follows:
- 21st in January: Beginning of the Carnival Days
- 26th in January: Inaugural lecture at the Picasso Museum.
- 2nd in February: Competition of singing groups at the Alameda Theater
- 12th y 15th in February: Competition Preliminaries
- 17th in February: Final and winner's choice
- From 18th to 26th of February: Carnival parades on the street, costume contests, miss and mister election, Carnival closing the 26th with the called 'entierro del boquerón' (buried of the anchovie).
During Carnival are held different types of contests:
Drag Queen competitions, Gods, Children and Group Parades
Shortly before Carnival takes place the registration for the various official competitions held to select the winner for Dios Momo, Diosa del Carnaval, Príncipe, Princesa, Dios Momo infantil, Diosa infantil and the winners of Drag Queen and Group Parades.
Registration is required using documentation from the official website or in person at the office on weekdays between 7 and 9 pm.
Special days in Malaga
We will start slowly and if we forget a date and you want to participate, please post your suggerences in our Malaga events forum.