Carnival in Cadiz is the oldest carnival celebrations on mainland Spain, only resembled by the Carnival in Santa Cruz, Tenerife on the Canary Islands. Carnival Cadiz festival features Rio in its riot of colors, floats, parade, fireworks and other entertainment.
In the 16th century, Cadiz did a dynamic trade with Venice which brought knowledge of its carnival to Cadiz with the result that a wish raised to emulate the fascinating event.
Although there are highly structured costumes, parades and a carnival queen (which Venice Carnival does not have), the importance is not so much on glamour as rather on humor and satire.
This may well have to do with the fact that the people of Cadiz are measured to be the wittiest in Spain, with a great sense of humor and a sharp tongue.
During the Franco government, carnival was excluded for fear of revolution. But, Cadiz confronted and continued to this day.
The most excellent feature of this carnival is music and satire. Saturday is the day and night of the largest road party. Singing, drinking and dancing goes on all over the city and it´s also the day when the Carnival Queen is crowned. Sunday the main parade when the march and floats are shown on which the various carnival groups have worked all year. All night you can see the fireworks at La Caleta.
Music, song and color are the spirit of Cadiz´ carnival rather than disgraceful showiness and barely any costumes like in Rio.