Spain is currently in the midst of a week long (some places longer) party: Carnaval! It's like Mardi Gras except it's a week long and almost EVERYONE participates, dressing up in ridiculous and carefully constructed costumes. From the chicken and the egg to hordes of ladybugs and sumo wrestlers. It's quite a show.
The fun begins at school where there is there is traditionally a huge party and parade with the kids. At my preschool we studied firemen all month and of course concluded the month by dressing as firemen...picture about 80 little firemen and me trying to keep them out of the street as we walked to the main square to participate in the parade of the school kids (or if you can't, just look at the pictures) In addition to the little firemen, our 2 year olds dressed up like fruits (bananas, oranges, and pears). The fun ended in a big climax as REAL firemen came to our school and showed us their truck, hose and even gave some of the teachers (including me) a ride on their ladder! So I got to experience the glory of Cantabria 20 meters (10 stories) above the ground!
Of course, after the kids have had their fun, us adults have to enjoy the holiday as well...so stealing an idea from my friend Shantel, I dressed up like bull fighter! Elisa dressed up like a Mexican while our friends used our hats to dress something like farmers and mafia members. We had a great night out first in Laredo and then to big party in Santoña, a small town nearby that has a big carnaval tradition. There we met up with a fellow American, Will the Chef, who navigated us through 2 outdoor stages with dj's and music and the streets which were packed full of crazy creatures. A lot of people dressed up in masse with all their friends, like 20 sumo wrestlers, herds of cows (which of course I distracted with my pink bull fighting cape), and my favorite, the chicken and the egg. Which one did I see first though?
Things will settle down again on Wednesday when Carnaval ends and I go back to work, but until then, I'm enjoying some time off and my days as a bull fighter. ¡Olé!