Malaga Carnival 2023 & Drag Show
For those of us lucky enough to live in Malaga province, we know for a fact that Malaga cities events are more than spectacular, they are incredibly large, colourful and way over the top! For expats and the population at large, we wouldn’t have it any other way!
2023’s Málaga Carnival, starts on the 11th of February and finishes on the 19th. This year’s carnival promises to be even better than the last one. Malaga Carnival celebrations always impress with elaborate parades, spectacular lighting displays, street food, concerts, dancing and yes, drag queens. Each year the Malaga Carnival attracts more than 600,000 visitors, not just locally but globally as well.
Malaga Carnival One of the Biggest in the Region
The Málaga Carnival is one of the biggest festivals in the region and is renowned for its vibrant atmosphere. The festivities will kick off with the opening parade, and features spectacular floats, traditional costumes, with plenty of dancing. The carnival also hosts several other events like concerts, parties and creative performances.
If you want to explore more Spanish culture, then the Malaga Carnival should be on top of your list. Besides the parade, you can witness other events like the ‘Churros and Chocolate’ competition, where participants compete to make the tastiest churros and chocolate. There will also be a ‘Paso de la Muerte’ or ‘Pass of Death’, where locals march in costumes of their own design and perform special dances.
Another fun filled event and one where anyone can participate is the Best Mask competition. This event features the most grotesque masks, hand made by participants, where the person with the scariest mask wins!
Malaga Carnival Highlights
Málaga turns up the festive spirit for its Carnival celebrations! Every year, a special God and Goddess are selected to lead off all the fun that’s about to ensue. Then, in true Málagan fashion, it culminates with an anchovy-themed parade marching through town towards La Malaqueta beach where they light up a colossal bonfire as one final hurrah before Lent begins. You can find most of these exciting carnival events happening around Plaza de la Constitución and Casco Histórico – so don’t miss out on this once-a-year bash!
Málaga’s vibrant Carnival festivities kick off with the thrilling selection of its God and Goddess, before culminating in a magnificent display at La Malaqueta beach – where a show-stopping bonfire lights up the night sky. Revellers come together to dance their way through the narrow cobbled streets of Málaga’s historic quarter and Plaza de la Constitución for days on end!
Malaga’s most spectacular events
Step right up to the Great Carnival Parade! On Feb 12th, come experience one of Malaga’s most spectacular events. The parade commences on Plaza de fray Alonso and meanders through town before concluding at a thrilling finale in Plaza de la Merced. A kaleidoscope of sights awaits as performers decked out in vibrant costumes put up an amazing show that includes trappings such as carrousels, murgas and comparsas – you won’t want to miss it!
On February 12th, the streets of Malaga come alive with the cheer and spectacle of its annual Great Carnival Parade. Revellers dress in vibrant costumes to join an array of singing groups, colourfully adorned horse carriages and other performers for a night-long procession that winds through various Plaza sites along it’s changing route each year. An experience not soon forgotten!
Taking place on February 17th in Malaga, Spain is the spectacular Battle of the Flowers and Gala Drag Queen. A beautiful display of colour awaits as participants throw 750 kilos of confetti and 150 kilos of unpeeled flowers at each other in Calle Larios! Meanwhile, Plaza de la Constitución will be bustling with energy from a vibrant ensemble cast putting on an exciting drag show to close out this amazing weekend full of festivities.
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On February 19th, the streets of Malaga will come alive with a spectacular Carnival Parade featuring divine figures! From 2 pm onwards you can experience an awe-inspiring procession along a unique route culminating in Plaza de la Constitución. What’s more? You don’t want to miss out on the local delicacy – Gran boqueroná: a crunchy deep fried anchovy treat exclusive to this celebratory event! Don’t forget your appetite and be sure not to miss it for anything!
The God & Goddess take to The Street February 19th
Get ready for a magical experience on February 19th as the Gods’ and Goddesses of Malaga Carnival take to the streets! The parade begins in Plaza de la Constitución, winding through unknown paths with each year’s route. To top off this electrifying spectacle, be sure not to miss out on Gran Boqueroná – an unforgettable fried anchovy delicacy served during carnival season!
Feb 19th, From 5 pm – A parade full of colourful floats, Carnival gods and goddesses and official mourners accompany the giant anchovy from the Plaza de la Constitución, through the port and to the beach of the Malagueta.
An unusual tradition, the Burning of the Boquerón takes place on Malagueta Beach.
This is the official end of Carnaval, where all our sins are burned away. Sadly for the boquerón, he always meets a fiery end.
The Boquerón is a symbol of Málaga. Boqueron means anchovy. Anchovies, one of the most popular dishes in Malaga, are served fried or marinated in olive oil, garlic and lemon.
Malagueños (people from Malaga) eat so many anchovies that their nickname is “Boquerones”.
Carnival Gastronomy – Food of course, plays an integral part in the Carnival celebrations. Cabbages, casseroles, rice dishes, stews and much more. Each district organises its popular taster sessions with Carnival songs as an essential part of the fun.
No trip to Carnival would be complete without sampling Espeto de Sardinas, which consists of sardines with fine herbs roasted over a wood fire.
Not a fish lover? Try Berza Malagueña, made with chickpeas, beef, vegetables and black pudding.
If you’re looking for a fun and exciting festival to attend, make sure you don’t miss out on the Málaga Carnival. For more information about this year’s festivities, or for advice about the best places to stay and eat, just get in touch with The Culture Clique.