The only rule to enjoying the Descent of Galiana is dress appropriately. Other then that, just go mad!!
Carnival, the Mardi Gras week of drinking, dancing and excess, usually takes place over late February and early March. Events begin in Avilés (Asturias) on the Saturday before Ash Wednesday, when virtually the entire city dons fancy dress and takes to the streets. Many costumes are veritable works of art, ranging from toothbrushes to mattresses and packets of sweets.
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. The festivities, which include live music, fireworks and fancy-dress competitions, last till dawn.
The celebrations continue throughout Asturias during the following week, so after a full night of revelling you can just head on to the next venue. Sunday is, in fact, a rest day before Carnival continues in Gijón on the Monday night.
On Tuesday night, the scene shifts to Oviedo: the crowds are smaller here and events are less frantic, but a fair part of the city again dons costume.
Finally, on the Friday after Ash Wednesday, Mieres, a mining town just southeast of Oviedo, plays host to Carnival.
English teacher John Parker (Chat English Aviles) explains what to expect at this pre-Christian festival and what makes it one of the top parties of Carnival season in Spain.
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