3-9 Feb 2005. The Spanish city puts on a fine carnival of its own and compares favourably with the better known carnivals in the Canaries, Cadiz or Catalonia. All kinds of fancy dress competitions ensue in the run up to Ash Wednesday when Madrid ceremoniously burys the Sardine during the Entierro de La Sardina. This follows the ancient tradition of burying fat to mark the beginning of Lent and the period of fasting. The ceremony can be a hilarious affair when locals known as caztizos, who make up the Burial of the Sardine Brotherhood, take part in an entertaining procession from Fuente de Parajitos. Needless to say in the last remaining days of feasting before Lent begins, there is a wealth of food on offer to go along with the party spirit.
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