Carnival season is one of the most anticipated events of the year in many places around the world, and in the Spanish town of Águilas, Murcia, it's no different. The Carnival of Águilas is known as one of the biggest and most spectacular in the country, and it has been declared a Festival of International Tourist Interest.
The Carnival of Águilas lasts for several days, starting on the Saturday before Ash Wednesday and ending on the following Tuesday, known as Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras. During this time, the town transforms into a colorful and lively celebration, with parades, music, dancing, and traditional costumes.
The origins of the Carnival of Águilas can be traced back to the 19th century, when local people used to dress up in costumes and go around the streets singing and dancing. Over the years, the celebration grew in size and popularity, and today it attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world.
One of the main highlights of the Carnival of Águilas is the parade of the big-headed figures, known as "Cabezudos." These giant figures, which can be up to 3 meters tall, are made of papier-mâché and represent famous characters from Spanish and international culture. The Cabezudos parade through the streets, accompanied by music and dancing, creating a unique and unforgettable spectacle.
Another key event during the Carnival of Águilas is the battle of the bands, or "Bando de la Huerta." This is a competition between different bands, who play traditional folk music using a variety of instruments, including drums, flutes, and guitars. The bands compete to see who can create the most lively and energetic atmosphere, and the audience gets involved by dancing and cheering them on.
The Carnival of Águilas is also famous for its costumes, which are colorful, elaborate, and often reflect the region's rich history and culture. Many people spend months preparing their costumes, which can be made from a variety of materials, including feathers, sequins, and lace.
Overall, the Carnival of Águilas is a unique and exciting event that combines tradition, culture, and fun. If you are planning to visit Spain during Carnival season, a trip to Águilas is highly recommended. You won't be disappointed!