Carnival of Cadiz
Los Carnavales is one of the best-known carnivals in Spain. The whole city participates in the carnival for more than two weeks each year, and the presence of this fiesta is almost constant in the city because of the recitals and contests held throughout the year.
On Saturday, everyone wears a costume, which, many times, is related to the most polemical aspects of the news. However, the Carnival of Cadiz is most famous for the satirical groups of performers called chirigotas. Their music and their lyrics are in the center of the carnival!
The chirigotas are the groups of people that sharing a costume and singing together, performed a full repertoire of songs about current topics but with in a humoristic way, unlike the comparsas. The chirigotas´ tunes are happier as well as their lyrics even though they can address the same subjects as the comparsas. They also compete in the Teatro Falla for the awards.
While some carnivals elsewhere in the world stress the spectacular, the glamorous, or the scandalous in costumes, Cadiz distinguishes itself with how clever and imaginative its carnival attire is. It is traditional to paint the face as a humble substitute for a mask.
pecific musical forms have evolved at the Carnival of Cadiz over the years. In the beginning, popular music was used, and tropical rhythms were mixed with popular European dances and songs; only the lyrics changed.
The best known contest among chirigotas, choirs, comparsas, and quartets in Cadiz is the ‘Official Contest’ at the Gran Teatro Falla, that finishes just before the first Saturday of Carnival. It is broadcast by the regional television and radio stations. Other contests take place before, during, and after the Carnival, usually organized by institutions and private clubs, and their venues are open tablaos in the public squares of the city.
Beside these, other musical forms, including short improvisations and theatrical skits are featured, mostly by the so-called illegal chirigotas, murgas, or callejeras, that don’t submit to any rule or contest. They just roam the streets singing and performing as they wish.