Posted on April 26, 2014
It's a festival.
It's a fireworks show.
It's a huge fiesta.
It's...a funeral? For a fish?
The Burial of the Sardine Festival is a very popular event in Murcia, Spain. It is the last event of the Carnival / Lent / Easter season, and it dates back to 1850, when a group of students paraded through the streets with a sardine.
I'm not sure if that long-ago group used a real sardine—which is, let's face it, small and stinky—or if they used a larger papier-mache sardine, but these days Spaniards use a papier-mache effigy.
Many groups of street entertainers have make the city merry in the days before the festival. Last night “Lady Sardine” read a humorous speech from the balcony of town hall.
Today the street entertainers are making a cavalcade (parade) that winds through the streets with “giants” and “big heads” and bands. There are also Brazilian samba groups and torch bearers and men dressed up as women, pretending to be widows mourning the sardine. Best of all, there are floats dedicated to the Olympian gods; people on the floats throw thousands of toys out into the crowd!
|Floats - the "gods" throw|
hundreds of thousands of
euros' worth of toys into the
(By the way, there are “Burials of the Sardine” in other Spanish cities as well. Murcia's festival is unusually big, wacky, and late in the year compared to others.)
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