How to describe the absolute insanity of Carnaval? I wish I could accurately portray the outrageous mayhem of Cádiz's most celebrated tradition: Mardis Gras on crack. It's like going to the fair on Halloween in Disneyland. The whole town dresses up in garish costumes, indulges on delicious treats such as gofres (like waffles but better), baked potatoes, caramel apples and fresh mini-donuts, and then shamelessly gets completely plastered in the middle of the streets.
The whole town is adorned with festive lights and decorations as if it were Christmas
In the streets, people dance and laugh along with the charmingly sarcastic chirigotas (witty bands in costumes that sing about controversial issues) with their liters of Cruzcampo beer and plastic party cups filled with tinto de verano. Even the bars are located outside, so they can accommodate the hundreds of tourists that pack the quaint gaditano streets. The streets are so jammed, it’s impossible to get anywhere – it took me 45 minutes to get to Plaza de San Francisco, which would have normally taken me 15 minutes to get to from my old apartment. But it’s not a typical big-city traffic jam, for everyone is drunk out of their minds in elaborate masks and costumes. Confetti and silly string litter the winding streets and pathways while locals erupt into impromptu sing-a-longs and dances. It is completely surreal.
Enjoying a parade of chirigotas during the day
Chirigotas are famous for their satirical songs about political issues
Many elaborate floats entertain the crowds during the city's big parade
Have you ever celebrated Carnaval? What was your favorite part?