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Carnival in Ibiza Town

March 4, 2014

Carnival is a festive season that takes place before Lent in many countries (also known as Mardi Gras in some and carnaval in Spain). It is usually characterised by a celebration and parade through the streets before the seriousness of fasting or giving up of something for Lent begins. Carnival is serious business in Ibiza, with all the major towns on the island having their own carnival parade, with Ibiza Town being no exception. Many of the local schools, dance schools and associations take part, alongside individuals who compete for prizes for the best costumes, choreography and artistic direction. It’s also an excuse for the local population to dress up and participate in the fun, which many do.

Yvonne and Dylan ready for the carnival

Yvonne and Dylan ready for the carnival

This year the carnival took place on Sunday March 2nd. Starting at 11.30 in the morning in Av. Santa Eulária in the port, it passes through the main streets of the town on its way to Vara de Rey.

For starters, the Ibizan weather performed beautifully, giving us sunshine and blue skies, the perfect backdrop to the colourful explosion of the parade as it passed through the town, making it a joy to stand around and watch everything pass. The ‘Diario’ reported that a record 2,413 people participated in the parade, and there were easily around 30 floats plus individuals of all ages taking part this year. We were treated to some spectacular choreographed routines from the island’s dance schools who were out in force – including Singing in the Rain, The Lion King and The Egyptian Empire – who shared the procession with everything from Barbie dolls, hedgehogs, divers, Smurfs, princesses, dancing bougainvillea trees, clouds, skeletons and cans of spinach, demonstrating the endless supply of creativity that exists in Ibiza. The lengthy parade of incredible floats and amazing costumes passed by in a riot of colour, accompanied by a barrage of sound systems, live musicians and an endless stream of confetti. Some groups used the carnival to publicise their protests against the proposed oil drilling and new abortion law to good effect.

Afterwards we sat by the water’s edge in the port and were entertained by many of the participants walking back to where the parade started from. An interesting spectacle as they headed back, often alone, without their float!

Cooking the arroz matanza

Cooking the arroz de matanzas

The festivities continued in Vara de Rey into the afternoon, where you could watch the prize-giving, dance to the disco, feast on the Arroz de Matanzas cooked before you (if you could face the huge queue to buy it) or partake from the numerous stalls selling food and drinks. It was a great fun and free day out, as the photos illustrate.

Photos from the day

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From → Fiestas

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