Carnival 2023

Carnival is celebrated once a year, between February and March. This festivity takes place 40 days before Lent, so its date always varies.

The origin of this festivity dates back to Greek and Roman times, where parties were held for Saturn or the god Bacchus. Always followed by excesses in food and drink. Later, Catholics named it ‘Carnival’ to refer to the abandonment of meat, as an entrance to the sobriety of the Lenten season.

When countries adopted Christianity as a religion, many laws tended to be modest and conservative. Thus, Carnival was the only time in the year when it was allowed to indulge in pleasures and excesses.

Carnival is celebrated in various regions of Ecuador with popular elements such as water, oil, talcum powder, eggs and ink. Carnival is celebrated in many parts of Ecuador and each one is different from the other.

In Cuenca, Carnival begins with the Thursday of ‘Compadres’ and ‘Comadres’. In this party, a ‘compadre’ and a ‘comadre’ are elected and it ends with the traditional game of throwing water and foam or ‘carioca’ to all the people attending.

As it is always cold on those dates, we accompany them with a ‘canelazo’, which is cinnamon tea with brandy. We also eat ‘motepata’ which is a soup based on ‘mote’ (a type of corn) and pork, which gives you the energy to continue playing. And for dessert, we usually enjoy it with sweets, either fig, peach or coconut.

At the Spanish Institute we decided to celebrate with students and teachers this fun date with lots of games, contests and food.

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