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San Sebastian Carnival, Spain
Carnivals In Spain
Carnivals in Spain Spanish Carnivals
mardi gras 2013
Carnivals in Spain
 Dates for Spanish Carnivals.
The Carnival centres around Shrove Tuesday.. ..
March 4th 2014.
 
The first references about the San Sebastian Carnival date from 1814. But one may assume that the Carnival in San Sebastian has a longer history, as far as we know that the great fire in 1813 destroyed the town almost completely. Even then, a year after the disaster, there were masquerades marching through the ruined streets, continuing the long tradition of the carnival.
 


In the first third of the century the carnival was formed by groups of students, friends circles and craftsmen guilds. The tunes that are currently sung at Carnival by Echegaray, Santesteban and Sarriegui, were composed in the middle of the century on beats hinted by the groups having fun in the streets. It was a spontaneous and fresh carnival made by groups of legendary names like "The Valencian Blind", "Gardiners", "Blokes and bullfighters" or "Turkish Boilermakers".
 

 
 


San Sebastian carnival changed as the Casino was opened. The Casino generously financed the masquerades. It united all of the groups that were having fun their own way and got them to form a parade in an organized procession. The idea was to create a show like that of Nice, capable of attracting visitors in those final days of winter.

The carnival of 1882 marked the beginning of a new period. An impressive procession of sixteen floats was organised to attend God Momo. The Burying of the Sardine, that started at eight in the evening, consisted of five hundred ghosts carrying burning candles, a drums band and choirs singing "Il trovatore" and "Andre Maria trumpet". They were followed by a hundred "spirits", warriors squads, a hearse, with a group of necromancers closing the procession.

The carnival that will never be forgotten is that of 1900. There are photographs which prove how beautiful and rowdy that carnival was, with its rich floats and numerous groups taking part in the procession. Raimundo Sarriegui composed two special pieces for this occasion: "Seafood on land" and "Cuttlefish's moaning". The newspapers of the time informed that the feasts attracted thirty thousand foreigners, as many as the number of inhabitants the town had. The Parisian newspaper "Le Republicain" wrote that the Nice carnival had diminished in importance in comparison with that of San Sebastian.

Dreaming of past times we tend to think that at the beginning of the century all carnivals used to be like that of 1900. And it is not true. The budget of 100,000 was well exceeded and the Casino could not afford the organisation of following events.
The tradition of the Carnival was interrupted due not only to economic reasons but also to the ban on the running of tied bulls which was the main entertainment of San Sebastian carnival.

Carnival lasted until 1924 mixing periods of splendour and austerity. In that year gambling was forbidden, so the feasts could not be financed; masks were also outlawed. Carnival lost its place in the streets and from then on had to go indoors, into balls and association centres.

The long night lasted until 1978. This is when the "Centro de Atracción y Turismo" (San Sebastian Tourist Office) stimulated popular entities to revive a massive and participatory carnival. The merriment at San Sebastian became an attraction for many people of Gipuzkoa that came to when carnival arrived again.
 
The carnival that will never be forgotten is that of 1900. There are photographs which prove how beautiful and rowdy that carnival was, with its rich floats and numerous groups taking part in the procession. Raimundo Sarriegui composed two special pieces for this occasion: "Seafood on land" and "Cuttlefish's moaning". The newspapers of the time informed that the feasts attracted thirty thousand foreigners, as many as the number of inhabitants the town had. The Parisian newspaper "Le Republicain" wrote that the Nice carnival had diminished in importance in comparison with that of San Sebastian.

Dreaming of past times we tend to think that at the beginning of the century all carnivals used to be like that of 1900. And it is not true. The budget of 100,000 was well exceeded and the Casino could not afford the organisation of following events.
The tradition of the Carnival was interrupted due not only to economic reasons but also to the ban on the running of tied bulls which was the main entertainment of San Sebastian carnival.

Carnival lasted until 1924 mixing periods of splendour and austerity. In that year gambling was forbidden, so the feasts could not be financed; masks were also outlawed. Carnival lost its place in the streets and from then on had to go indoors, into balls and association centres.
 


The long night lasted until 1978. This is when the "Centro de Atracción y Turismo" (San Sebastian Tourist Office) stimulated popular entities to revive a massive and participatory carnival. The merriment at San Sebastian became an attraction for many people of Gipuzkoa that came to when carnival arrived again.

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