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What to do in Malaga in February? Enjoy the Carnival!

The event not to miss in Andalusia in winter

You might be wondering “When is the best time to visit Andalusia or Malaga?” and this is a fair question to ask. We have good news for you. 😊 Andalusia is beautiful in every moment in the year and has great events almost every month.

The Carnival in Malaga is probably one of the most important events here just like the Holy Week on March; but also one of the most festive events in Andalusia, as Malaga Fair would be in August: The Carnival in Malaga, is the event not to miss on February.

And don’t forget, if you come to Malaga our local Cooltoural team is here to help. During a 2, 3 or 4 hour-walk (you decide the duration), a local shows you the best spots in Malaga and gives you the great tips to make the most of your holiday and live like a local (best places to eat delicious tapas - that only locals know, best spots to party, to have a nice walk, must-do activities, etc.). The local prepares the route and only you (or your couple, or family or group of friends). So you can ask him/her all the questions you have. Contact us! 😊 or book your private tour with a local.

To give you a foretaste of the carnival, we have been in the streets of the city and we have to admit many costumes are really funny.

Origins of the carnival

The geographical and historical origins of Carnival are not really clear.

Some state that the word comes from the Late Latin expression “carne levare”, which means "farewell to meat", signifying the approaching fast.

Other scholars argue that the origin is the festival of the Navigium Isidis ("ship of Isis"), where the image of Isis, the Egyptian Goddess, was carried to the seashore to bless the start of sailing season. The festival consisted of a parade of masks following an adorned wooden boat, called in Latin “carrus navalis”, possibly the source of both the name and the parade floats.

Origins of the Carnival : Celebration of the Egyptian goddess - Cooltoural

What we know for sure is that today the Carnival is celebrated in many countries all over the world at different moments of the year: In February for the huge and probably most famous one in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil but also in France, Ecuador, and Panama; in May in Germany, in July in Canada and in August for England.

What happens in the Malaga Carnival?

Malaga Carnival - Cooltoural

The Malaga Carnival like many carnivals, is in February. It lasts 7 days and is celebrated the week before Ash Wednesday.

Of course, like all other carnivals, you will see many people disguised in the streets and parades of costumes.

In the city centre you will also see groups of singers performing. In fact there is during the event a competition for the best group.

There is also an election of a Drag Queen, tapas tasting, free fried anchovies tasting, concerts, shows, battle of flowers, and many other activities. 💃

But the most distinctive feature from other carnivals is the ending of the event. During the last day, is celebrated the “Entierro del boquerón” or burial of the anchovy.

Small aside, the anchovy is the most typical fish in Malaga and for that reason, people from Malaga are called “boquerones” or anchovies.

So during this last step of the event, people gather on the Malagueta beach and burn the Giant Anchovy that has before crossed the city.

Celebration in Malagueta, Malaga - Andalusia - Cooltoural

The Cadiz Carnival

As the Carnival lasts a week, our recommendation is to also see, if you can get there, the Carnival in Cadiz which is quite big.

How to go Cadiz from Malaga?

There are buses that go from Malaga to Cadiz (around 4 hours travel time) and trains (5 hours).

So now you know what to do for next Carnival in Malaga, on February 2019: buy your tickets to come, an awesome costume to party and of course

contact us for your best Cooltoural and cultural immersion. We will give you all the good tips to enjoy the Carnival, the best spots, and must-do activities in Malaga.

See you soon! 😊

Mona from Cooltoural