Whatever month of the year you decide to visit marvelous Malaga, you are sure to have a fun-filled time. And even more fun is guaranteed if your visit coincides with one of the many fiestas the city has. Our very long Christmas holiday season ends on January 6th. Then we have a few weeks to recover before the next big fiesta: Carnaval.
When is Carnaval Malaga 2022?
Carnaval Malaga 2022 will be celebrated from February 26th to March 6th. Most of the official events take place over the two weekends. However, the Carnaval atmosphere continues throughout the week on the city streets. As well, the main street of Malaga, Calle Larios, is illuminated with an archway of spectacular lights.
What is the reason for celebrating Carnaval?
The word Carnaval comes from the word ‘carne’ which means meat. Carnaval in Spanish speaking countries is celebrated the week before Lent- the forty days before Easter when Christians traditionally give up certain ‘pleasures of the flesh’. The word Carnaval comes from the word ‘carne’ which means meat. Therefore, Carnaval is associated with a period of permissiveness and partying.
Carnaval traditions across Spain differ depending on the region. In the south, particularly famous is the Carnaval of Cadiz. However, in recent years Málaga has jumped on the Carnaval band-wagon and offers a similar version of that in Cadiz.
The most typical tradition in the carnavals of Malaga and Cadiz are the ‘chirigotas’- groups of singers that go around the city singing original songs. Usually, they all wear the same costume and the songs are typically commentaries on current politics, politicians, social issues, Spanish family life and work etc.
Interestingly, one of the great qualities of the Spanish people is that they are able to make fun of themselves. Consequently, Carnaval is a great example of this very Spanish trait. Even if you don’t understand Spanish, we guarantee that you will be highly entertained by these singing groups. (In the past, the chirigotas were always groups of men, but in recent years there are more and more female groups of singers).
In the city of Málaga, many of its neighbourhoods have their own Carnaval celebrations in the weeks before the official Carnaval of the city centre. So, depending on where you are staying you might be pleasantly surprised with a party in the streets!
Here is the official schedule for Carnaval Malaga 2022. Most of the events take place in the city centre. (The program may be subject to change depending on any new government restrictions related to the COVID pandemia).
Saturday 26th February
The official opening ceremony (‘pregón’) in the Plaza de la Constitución- the main square of Malaga.
- 20h00 – Opening ceremony in the Plaza de la Constitución
- 20h30 Presentation of the new Carnaval Malaga 2020 anthem
- 21h00 – Crowning of the God and Goddess of Carnaval
Sunday 27th February
- 12h00 in the Plaza de la Constitución – Official start of the Children’s Carnaval, with the election of princes and gods as well as a best fancy-dress competition
- 17h30- The Grand Carnaval Parade through the streets of the historical centre and various shows in the Plaza de la Constitución. The parade starts in Plaza de Fray Alonso on the west side of the River Guadalmedina. It then works its way through the city centre and ends in the Plaza de la Merced at 20h00.
During the week, there are no official events, but the carnival atmosphere continues as the satirical singing chirigota groups compete with each other on every corner of the city streets, providing free entertainment for all to enjoy.
Monday 28th February.
This day is a public holiday in Andalusia. Monday’s Carnaval Malaga 2022 events are for the kids but great fun for all ages to enjoy.
- 12h00- Parade through the streets of the historical centre. The parade starts and ends in the main square, Plaza de la Constitución.
- 13h00 – Kids’ costume competition
- 17h00- Prize-giving for drawing competition
- 17h30- Malagueña copla singing competition
- 18h30 – Performance by kids’ chirigotas.
Friday 4th March
- 18h00- Parade of the Carnaval Malaga 2022 Gods & Godesses
- 20h30 – Battle of the flowers- a fun event in the main Street of Malaga- Calle Larios, where everyone throws colourful paper petals and streamers at each other
- Drag Queen Contest and concert in the Plaza de la Constitución
Saturday 5th March
There will be no Carnaval activities on this day. However, there is another cultural treat in store for you lucky visitors to Malaga! Fourteen of the Semana Santa (Holy Week) thrones with statues of Christ will be out on the street to celebrate the stations of the cross, the story of Easter Week. The processions will start at 17h00 and make their way through the historical centre. The processions will leave their various brotherhood buildings and make their way to the city centre. All of them will follow the ‘official route’. This starts in Calle Puerta del Mar and through the historical centre. Each throne will pass through the cathedral and then follow their own itinerary back to their brotherhood buildings. It will be amazing!
Sunday 6th March- the last day of Carnaval
- 12h00- Presentation of prizes for the children’s competitions
- 13h00- The Grand Boqueroná- get your free portion of ‘boquerones’ at the Plaza de la Constitucion. *The Boquerón is a symbol of Málaga. Boqueron means anchovy. Anchovies, one of the most popular dishes in Malaga, are served fried or marinated crude in olive oil, garlic and lemon. In fact, the Malagueños eat so many anchovies that their nickname is, yes- you’ve guessed it- Boquerones. So if you are an adopted Malagueño, you can call yourself a Boqueron, too!
- 17h00- The burning of the Boquerón on the Malagueta Beach- the official end of Carnaval, where all our sins can be burned away and we can be good and chaste for the next 40 days! A parade full of colourful floats, carnaval gods and goddesses- and even official mourners, accompany the giant anchovy from the Plaza de la Constitución, through the port and to the beach of the Malagueta. Sadly, the boquerón meets a fiery end. And another fab fun week of Carnaval- Malagueño style!
So as you can see, Malaga is a fun destination to visit in February. But what about the Malaga weather in February?
The weather is positively Spring-like with temperatures sometimes reaching up to 20 degrees celcius and average temperatures staying around 16 degrees. We enjoy approximately 10 hours of sunshine per day. In fact, sun rise is around 8 a.m. and sunset around 7 p.m.(It is probably a good idea to bring a light raincoat and warmer clothes for the evenings. The average rainfall for the month of February is 138mm). In short, it probably won’t rain on our Carnaval parades!