What’s Carnival Like In A Small Village In Southern Spain?

Carnival celebrations in Tarifa, Spain


By Robin Graham

It has rained a couple of times this morning so I’m out on the back patio rescuing my little ones. Some of them are drowning and I need to stick a screwdriver through the bottom of their pots to drain the water away. I survey the plants and seedlings with the impassive satisfaction of a Divine Creator.

The laundry is wet again – it’ll have to stay where it is.

There’s some kind of hubbub, and someone bangs a drum. I step up onto our bench from where I can peer through the floral pattern of holes at the top of the patio wall, and watch as a small army of smurfs passes by on its way to the old town. They’re all blue of course and they’re all wearing their little white smurf hats, but otherwise they’re quite a diverse bunch.

People in costume celebrating Carnival

Some of them are in wheelchairs and others walk with frames. There are smurfs with Down Syndrome and smurfs that can walk just fine as long as they have a little support from the people in yellow t-shirts that walk along amongst them. One of the smurfs is on one of those motorised things that look like a shopping trolley.

Bit odd.

Later I go into town myself because I want to get some more plants for my growing empire. I don’t see the smurfs anywhere but I do manage to pick up some aromatics; oregano, tarragon and sage. On my way from the florists to the Chinese bazaar, where I want to get some hooks for the bathroom, I wander into an ancient Egyptian funeral procession. They’re chanting away and taking up the whole street so I need to double back and find another route.

Tarifa’s Carnaval, or Carnival, celebrations.

I eventually get to the bazaar on the main street. The bars on this stretch are turning themselves inside out today – moving their furniture outside and setting up on the pavement.

I need to navigate my way through a crowd of Mexicans in sombreros.

I spot a horde of pirates in the distance.

I almost trip over a tiny Flintstone.

I’m beginning to think something is going on.

Then I notice the big stage in front of the church and the peseta drops. Ah yes – another year in Tarifa, another Spring.

Another Carnaval.


Robin Graham writes at www.alotofwind.com.

4 Responses

  1. Ah, such fun Carnaval surprises as you go about your errands in town. But the image I keep thinking about is of you almost tripping over a tiny Flintstone.

  2. Ayngelina says:

    I love the photos here, and as much as I adore your writing I would love to see you add photos to your regular site.

  3. The Spain Scoop says:

    Robin’s photos are excellent.

  4. The Spain Scoop says:

    As Robin does his errands, we are right there with him.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge