Fun and festivities during last year’s carnival celebrations in the centre of Malaga. SUR
Malaga gears up for colourful mayhem and fun during carnival week festivities
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Malaga gears up for colourful mayhem and fun during carnival week festivities

The official opening ceremony will take place at 8pm on Saturday 3rd February, while the carnival parade will be held on Sunday 4th

Tony Bryant


Monday, 29 January 2024, 08:54

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Malaga city will be transformed into a giant stage between Saturday 3 and Sunday 11 February, when tens of thousands of people turn out for the city’s annual carnival celebrations. Carnival is one of Malaga’s fun highlights of the year and Calle Larios and Plaza de la Constitución, where most of the street entertainment takes place, have already been decorated.

The week-long celebrations will offer all the gaudy parades, stunning outfits, slapstick comedy routines, and the razzmatazz of the comparsa and murga groups (satirical vocal groups who sing about current affairs). The search to find the best group (whose songs are called chirigotas) goes on throughout the week. Concerts take place from 8pm onwards on the Plaza de la Constitución, and the heats and finals take place in the Teatro Cervantes. Tickets to the final and to the other heats are available on the Malaga carnival website.

The Carnival officially kicks off at 8pm on Saturday 3 February with the grand opening ceremony and the selection of the carnival god and goddess, who will act as representatives of the proceedings throughout the week.

A children’s fancy dress competition will be held in Plaza de la Constitución from midday on Sunday; while the official carnival parade consisting of lavish floats and thousands of people dressed in a variety of colourful costumes will begin in Pasillo de Santo Domingo at 5.30pm, then wind its way through the historic town centre and on to Plaza de la Merced.

Drag Queen Contest

Highlights of the festivities will include the Drag Queen Contest (9 February), which this year will focus on ‘butch queens’.

On Saturday 10 February, the Battle of the Flowers – a brightly coloured parade along Calle Larios from which confetti and streamers are thrown into the crowd - will begin at 6pm; while an 80s fancy dress competition, along with live music, will be held in Plaza de la Constitución from 9pm.

The festivities will come to a tragic end on Sunday, with the ritual of the Entierro de Boquerón, the burning of a giant anchovy. Most of Spain buries a sardine to mark the end of festivities and the start of Lent, but Malaga burns an anchovy.

The parade leaves Plaza de la Constitución at 5pm and consists of official mourners, and a giant anchovy that is burnt on a bonfire on La Malagueta beach.

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