From 17 to 22 February carnival will once again invade Madrid. Time to lose your inhibitions!
The parades will include fauns, centaurs, toads and butterflies, fantastic creatures and monsters. Taking its inspiration from medieval and classical mythology, the central figure in this year's Madrid Carnival will be a mysterious faun, encouraging all of us to lose our inhibitions. These fantastic beings and many more will accompany Don Carnal and his retinue at the ceremony to open this year's carnival, on Friday 17 February in Plaza de la Villa, the starting point for a procession which will go from there to Plaza Mayor.
The same fantastic beings will be seen again on 18 February, during the Grand Parade, which will set off from Paseo de Coches in El Retiro Park to Plaza de Colón, via Calle Alcalá, Plaza de Cibeles and Paseo de Recoletos. Carnival floats and street performers will accompany the colourful characters in the parade. The fun will continue at the fancy-dress contest, organised each year by the Fine Arts Circle (Alcalá, 42) in some of its most emblematic spaces: the ballroom, the hall of columns and the Pecera.
The theme chosen by the Fine Arts Circle this year is Brazil, where carnival time is synonymous with colour, rhythm and fun. Those with more modern tastes have an interesting alternative option in the REC Madrid Electronic Music and Audiovisual Festival, at the Telefónica Arena.
Theatre, dance and music will also be a feature of these days in Madrid, at a number of different venues, while the carnival festivities will include the traditional encounter of murgas and chirigotas, taking place this year on Sunday 19 February in Plaza de Callao (in the morning). On Wednesday 22 February the celebrations will conclude with the traditional burial of the sardine, organised by the Alegre Cofradía del Entierro de la Sardina at San Antonio de la Florida Chapel.