A different carnival than one expects: no roller-coasters, cotton candy, or bumper cars, instead, Spain celebrates with masks and outdoor festivities for everyone in the family to enjoy!
The word carnival derives from ‘carni’, meaning meat, and ‘val’, meaning farwell. Hence, Carnival begins the Lenten season; a sacred, humbling preparation for Easter, during which devout Christians (especially Catholics) must “say goodbye” to meat on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and the remaining Fridays until Easter Sunday. In Spain, the idea of Carnival is to encourage indulgence before fasting, so practicing Christians and Catholics may have a stronger appreciation for their fortunes, health, and loved ones.
If you are studying abroad in Spain this Spring Semester, now is the time to get a costume, wear a mask, dance, and cheers with locals on Saturday, Sunday, and experience the essence of Mardi Gras on Tuesday!
Life is short, with lots to celebrate. La vida es un carnaval!