Águilas Carnival, Spain

Águilas Carnival is the biggest in the Murcia Region

Águilas is certainly the most famous carnival in the region, as well as the largest. It is renowned for flamboyant costumes, choreographed dance troupes and glitz.

The parades are the biggest, longest and three of them include visiting peñas from other parts of the region & Spain.

To enjoy it fully, I wanted to understand the history behind it and what happens at each stage of the two weeks celebration.

Diary of events for 2018

For the full programme of events please click here

El Carnaval de Aguilas es el mas grande en la región de Murcia.

Águilas is certainly the most famous carnival in the region, as well as the largest. It is renowned for flamboyant costumes, choreographed dance troupes and glitz.
En Aguilas tiene lugar el mas famoso Carnaval de la región. Es famoso por sus impresionantes disfraces, coreografías y glamour. Los desfiles duran varias horas y en tres de ellos, desfilan peñas the otras ciudades de la región.
Porque estamos interesados en conocer la historia del Carnaval y todo sobre sus personajes.

What Happens?

The main processions during 2018 are on Sunday 11th, Tues 13 & Saturday 17th February.

The parades last 2-4 hours each and seats are sold in specially constructed stands which line the streets (tickets can be bought on the street). There are also plenty of places to stand (but it does get tiring) & Spanish veterans bring their own chairs and blankets.

There are plenty of places to buy food and drink including a famous ‘punch’ which I warn you, is pretty strong!

As well as the actual parades there are lots of other activities involved in the carnival itself, as well as additional events in the town during the period.

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Held every year for 2 weeks, it encompasses many large street processions, events, theater, music & much more, taking place over the 2 week period.

La programación para este año es la siguiente:

Los desfiles principal en 2018 son Domingo 11, Martes 13 & Sabado 17 Febrero.
Los desfiles tienen una duración de 4-5 horas. Los palcos para disfrutar del espectáculo se sitúan a ambos lados de las calles. Los tickets para los asientos se venden en la propia calle ese día. Hay estratégicos lugares en los cuales se puede ver el desfile de pie, pero es muy cansado. Los aficionados a la fiesta llevan sus sillas, mantas, comida y bebida.
Hay muchos lugares para comprar comida y bebida. Hay una bebida típica solo para estos días. Se llama Cuerva, pero tengo que advertirte que es bastante fuerte. Contiene unamezcla de licores y fruta.
Además de los desfiles hay otras actividades que se realizan en la ciudad en estos días.

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Characters

Para los detalles de cada uno de los personajes en espaňol ver:

https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnaval_de_%C3%81guilas#La_Musa

La Musa

This character represents the festive spirit of the carnival, the ingenuity of the people in their last days of fun before the arrival of Lent, the fantasy and humor of the arrival of Carnival dates. She is known as the ‘Queen of Carnival’, and is responsible for putting a touch of magic and brightness to the streets of Aguilas throughout the carnival.

La Mussona

The descent of the Mussona from the castle & la cueva (a hissing spitting beast wearing a costume created from natural materials) It is released from the Esplanada of the Castle along with its handler. It makes its way down to the Plaza de Espana where officially the Carnival then begins. The Mussona is a figure which represents the dual nature of man, being somewhat wild & man (the battle of order and chaos).

This character represents the old carnivals of the city of Águilas, when the inhabitants of this coastal town scarcely had few resources to be able to spend a week of fun.

Of four characters it is the only one that can be represented, both by a woman and a man.

The ‘handler’ of the Mussona is the musician-tamer. This figure represents humanity and the process of moving from the savage state to the civilized state through control and music. During the performance of this character on Thursday, the tamer plays the role of guiding the beast from the dungeons of the Castle of ‘San Juan de las Águilas’ to the Plaza de España where thousands of people look forward to the arrival of this character.

Doña Cuaresma
Doña Cuaresma represents the opposite of La Musa or the party. It is abstinence, modesty and seriousness.
The Saturday before the parades Doña Cuaresma is defeated in a dialectic battle by Don Carnal. Dona Cuaresma grants a week of truce in which the Carnival will be celebrated.

Don Carnal
He is the reincarnation of the Janus God. He is the character who triumphs over Doña Cuaresma.
He gets a week of partying, but he also knows that his reign is temporary. On the Sábado de Piñata he is finally defeated by Doña Cuaresma.In Águilas that defeat is played out on the Playa Colonial.

The performance is represented by burning an effigy in the middle of a bonfire symbolizing the body of Don Carnal while throwing thousands of fireworks. This act symbolizes the defeat of Don Carnal to Doña Cuaresma, although this victory is also not definitive, as the following year the character of Don Carnal returns to give the people of Aguilas another week of fun, joy, partying and carnival.

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