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Carnival in Cadiz. Indefinite pronouns

Well-known carnivals in Brazil (Rio de Janeiro), in the Canary Islands, Venice… But one of the most famous carnival takes place in February-March in the Andalusian city of Cadiz ( C á diz ). All month the inhabitants of Cadiz ( gaditanos ) live the atmosphere of this festival ( el ambiente carnavalesco ).

Carnivals originated with the advent of Christianity ( el cristianismo ), but in them we find many traits of pagan celebrations (bacchanalia, Saturnalia). The word carnival comes from carne (“flesh”), as during the carnival was allowed lust and sin, all the things that were forbidden during lent ( la Cuaresma ). You could say it’s analogous to our carnival.

Perhaps it is because of the costume ( el disfraz ) dressed people were free to do what is usually forbidden: among other things, the carnival was a place of open satire ( la s á tira ) against the authorities.

How it all began…

Carnival in Cadiz is first mentioned in the 17th century. At the time it was noticeable influence of Genoa ( G é nova ), and it remained in accessories such as respirator ( el antifaz ), covering only the upper part of the face and the mask ( la careta ) for a complete concealment of the face. And confetti ( el confeti )… Although the word comes from Italian confetti (literally. candy), now instead of sweets showered each other with paper. Dance, too, have experienced the Italian influence (especially in the 18th century).

Interestingly, in those days it was a feast not for the higher strata of the population, and for ordinary people.

In the 19th century carnivals began to be regulated by the authorities. In particular, since 1821 was given permission to organise a dance in the Main theatre ( Teatro Principal ). From those times to our days carnival has the same “venue” square SV. Anthony (plaza de San Antonio) and Ancha street (calle Ancha). Since 1861 the Festival is organized by the city hall ( el ayuntamiento ). In 1884 licenses were introduced to singing, without which illegal “singers” could be arrested.

Mayor Cayetano del Toro ( Cayetano del Toro ) has updated the program of the carnival, including: cavalcade ( la cabalgata ), a special lighting of the streets ( la iluminaci ó n ), masquerade ( el baile de m á scaras ), the competition of groups ( el concurso de agrupaciones ) and folk dances ( los bailes nacionales ).

During the rule of Generalissimo Francisco Franco ( Francisco Franco ) carnivals were banned ( prohibidos ). He forbade them in 1937 in all Spanish provinces. But in Cadiz people could not live without the atmosphere of this traditional holiday, they were going in the wine cellars in February and nostalgically reminiscing, singing couplets ( las coplas ) – something our ditties.

Although in 1949 the authorities allowed to hold a celebration with the participation of choirs and entertainers, to mention the word “carnival” was banned. Then they were called “traditional Cadiz holidays” ( las fiestas t í picas gaditanas ), and in 1965 they were even included in the list of “celebration of tourist interest” ( fiesta de inter é s tur í stico ).

The competition of carnival groups ( COAC )

Since 1984 the carnivals became legal. During the month before Ash Wednesday ( el Mi é rcoles de Ceniza ) is an Official competition of carnival groups of Cadiz (el Concurso oficial de agrupaciones de carnaval de Cádiz), which involved 4 types of groups:

Comparsa (can be translated as “entertainers” or not translated at all) Coro ( choir) Cuarteto (Quartet) Chirigota (can be translated as “Joker” or not translated at all)

The dates of carnival in Cadiz until 2020:


2016 — from 4 to 14 February

2017 — from 2 to 12 March

2018 — from 8 to 18 February

2019 — from 28 February to 10 March

2020 — from 27 February to 8 March

Next time, if you plan your holidays in February, remember this carnival, it is better to see once than hear a hundred times! And Cadiz is a language school, where you might also learn some Spanish (see links at the end of the newsletter).

I Express my special thanks to Violeta for the presentation at the Cervantes Institute in Moscow, which gave me the idea and material for this newsletter.


( level A2)

“Some” indefinite pronouns

What pronouns are called “uncertain”? In the Russian language this – someone, somebody, something, some, some, some, some, some and the like. What compliance we meet them in Spanish grammar? Let’s arrange everything on the shelves: