Antroxu Carnival in Aviles 2017 – A Txiki experience

Antroxu Carnival in Aviles 2017 – A Txiki experience

Having been to Aviles twice before I have to say that I didn’t undertake too much research for this visit. By chance I had a quick look the day before traveling to see if anything exciting was happening. I’m so glad I did! We would be arriving during Antroxu or Carnival week, celebrated all over the world in some form or other in the run up to the beginning of Lent.

Researching carnival in Aviles

I found some information on the Rough Guides website:

Carnaval, the Mardi Gras week of drinking, dancing and excess, usually takes place over late February and early March. In Spain, the celebrations are reckoned to be at their wildest in Tenerife, Cádiz and Asturias – and, in particular, Avilés.

What would ‘and in particular, Aviles’ mean? Cue further information from Rough Guides:

By nightfall, anyone without a costume is likely to be drenched in some form of liquid, as gangs of nuns, Red Indians and pirates roam the streets. On Calle Galiana, central to the action, the local fire brigade traditionally hoses down the street, and any passing revellers, with foam, while a parade of floats threads its way amid the frenzy.

I explained the situation to Mrs L. She hates dressing up. And Mrs L was suffering with ankle ligament damage and worried about all the foam. She had been looking forward to a quiet weekend away.

‘Have we still got those priest and nun outfits from that Christmas party a few years back?‘ I inquired sheepishly. The look I received in return was one of horror. Two hours later I had convinced her to at least take the fancy dress, as a last resort to avoid a soaking.

The carnival reality

Friday was pretty quiet all told. Except for lots of Smurfs.

Smurfs

And an appearance by The Donald, leader of the Western world. Kind of.

Trump

We spent Saturday morning in neighbouring Gijon where we expected it to be quiet again. We were wrong.

On returning to Aviles we soon discovered that the foam cannons had been put in place…everywhere.

Cannon

Cannon

So we decided to don our outfits – oh dear!

Outfits

And as we left the side door of the wonderful NH Palacio de Aviles, we were met with this.

By chance we had entered the cordon and were right in the middle of the madness.

Carnival

We retreated to get some refreshments and started to notice that actually only half the people there were dressed up. But rather enjoying it by now, we stayed as we were.

Refreshments

But where on earth did the banana come from?

Refreshments

Refreshments

In fact there were hundreds who had entered into the spirit of things. Like the Joker.

Joker

A bride…of sorts.

Bride

A family of cats…well I think that’s what they were.

Family

And The General, who appeared to be something of a local celebrity!

The General

The floats were pretty cool…

Float

But we decided that more refreshments were in order. And I can confirm that Mrs L had a sparkling water, not a G & T!

Bar

Outside, the foam had stopped being pumped out but had left a winter wonderland in it’s wake.

It left it’s mark on us.

Shoes

And on the transport of one particularly young reveller.

Pushchair

We had a final nightcap where I made a new best friend in a very drunk chap dressed as Hagrid. His English was worse than my Spanish. I think I attracted him with my ‘bad habit’…

Habit

We headed to bed for some rest, but many didn’t. Indeed as we arrived at the railway station the following morning for a day out, people were literally falling out of a nearby warehouse where the music was still pumping.

And so ended a fantastic carnival in Aviles for us. I think we might have to make it an annual pilgrimage.

Anyone want to join us?

Txiki Stu

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