Newsletter 2006

Carnaval and Cádiz is its Capital!
Carnaval is an (almost) world famous festival held in Cádiz, every year to have one last splurge before Lent. It can be thought of as Fat Tuesday, Spanish style, meets Halloween. This ancient city on the southwest coast of Spain springs to life as people leave their surfboards and come out to celebrate. Hostels are booked months in advance of this week-long celebration. People come from all over Europe to take on a new identity and hit the streets and fill the plazas until dawn. Improvised music, mostly drums, can be heard over the crowd. We arrived in Cádiz around two in the afternoon-- too early! After a slow afternoon checking into our rooms and taking a nap, we hit the streets around 10:30 that night. Though Carnaval did not technically begin until later, we were ready to show off our costumes. I went dressed as Elmo: I used a red bandana and my señora decorated socks that she sewed on to my hat for eyes. But no one knew what I was supposed to be! When I explained that Elmo was a Sesame Street character, everyone nodded knowingly, saying “Ahhhhh, you’re Cookie Monster!” This general confusion only added to the fun: when you can be anyone for Carnaval in Cádiz, you really may as well be... anyone! Carnaval should be experienced by anybody who thinks that they have seen a big party, because this is a once in a lifetime experience.
--Cameron Smith, ‘07

Does it sound like Cameron and his friends are having too much fun in Spain? Keep an eye on them with the WebCams at the Center for Cross-Cultural Studies: