When talking about big time events in Cádiz, the spectre of the world’s second largest carnival looms large over the calendar. Understandably so, the Cádiz Carnival is an international affair after all, but there are a number of other celebrations that deserve your attention in the city. But yeah, we can’t really start anywhere else.
For 10 days at the end of February, Cádiz goes carnival mad. This is the biggest carnival in Spain and the second largest on the planet, a humour-centric celebration that quite literally takes over the town as February bleeds into March. The problems of the day are purged through sarcasm, irony, comedy and wit, and the people of the city are refreshed as a result. That ‘refreshed’ feeling might get washed away by the inevitable hangovers, but this is one of the world’s great festivals. A Bucket List item, for sure.
While not celebrated as fiercely as elsewhere in Andalusia, Holy Week remains an important milestone on the Cádiz calendar. You know what you’re going to get — all manner of Catholicism flooding the streets of the city, commemorating the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
MANUEL DE FALLA MUSIC FESTIVAL
Manuel de Falla was one of Spain’s most beloved 20th century composers, and the Cádiz-born maestro is celebrated in his hometown with a host of concerts every year. The festival generally takes place toward the end of May.
BURNING OF THE JUANILLOS
Burn baby, burn! The Burning of the Juanillos started as another Catholic hootenanny, where effigies of Judas Iscariot were burnt to a crisp in the streets of the city, but the extravaganza has taken on a life of its own in the years since.
NO SIN MÚSICA
A celebration of music, the Not Without Music festival takes place across two stages in the centre of Cádiz in the middle of August, with a number of local and regional bands invited to take part. Thousands will be in attendance, making this yet another energetic party in the city.
WEEKEND BEER CÁDIZ
We’re big fans of a craft beer festival here at In Your Pocket, so we’re thrilled to see the beer weekend in Cádiz becoming an annual affair. Craft beer from all over the region is available here, so come along and find yourself a new favourite brew.
ALL SAINT’S DAY
There is much more to Hallowe’en than dressing up like a sexy goat and wandering the streets in search of sugary treats and rotten teeth. The festival has much darker roots, and All Saint’s Day (November 1) remains an important celebration in the Catholic world, as lost souls tour purgatory in search of salvation or damnation. There will be food.
JEREZ HORSE FAIR
Dipping out of Cádiz for a moment, the annual Horse Fair in Jerez is the absolute ultimate in equine excitement in Andalusia. This 13th century festival began as a livestock market and has grown into something different entirely, with all sorts of horse-related activities taking place over this raucous festival in May.
EVENING OF THE ANGELS
Celebrated since the 19th century, the Evening of the Angels started out as an extension of the annual Corpus Christi events and has evolved into its own beast. The festival usually takes place at the beginning of August.
Has there ever been an annual events feature on In Your Pocket that doesn’t mention Christmas in some form? We’re not going to buck that trend here, and Navidad in Cádiz is a celebration of life and love, of family and friendship, with plenty (and by ‘plenty’ we mean plenty) or sherry drank along the way.