El entierro de la Sardina (Burial of the Sardine) is the last activity of the carnival time in Spain. The “Burial” generally consists of a carnival parade that parodies a funeral procession and culminates with the burning of a symbolic sardine. The “Burial of the Sardine” during carnival is celebrated on Ash Wednesday and is a symbolical burial of the past to allow society to be reborn, transformed and with new vigor.
This popular manifestation was first captured for posterity and made famous by Spanish painter Francisco de Goya in an oil painting of the same name, “El Entierro de la Sardina”, dated between 1812 and 1819. And this year, there shall be some references to Goya due to the Carnival topic are Spanish artists.
The origins of the Merry Association of the Burial of the Sardine could well be traced back to the reign of Charles III of Spain, in the 18th century. They are responsible
for, year after year, returning the costumes to the trunk, silencing the fanfare and burying the humble fish with the greatest of honours. The party is over and we must
prepare for Lent.
This year, if you are interested in the parade, there will be a welcoming batucada (percussion ensemble) at Plaza de San Antonio de la Florida. Next, they will pay respects to its first brother Francisco de Goya by reading a speech and subsequently the parade will cross Puente del Manzanares until it reaches Paseo del Comandante Fortea, where the much beloved and ancient tree, the late Great Captain once stood, and where they will be welcomed by a second percussion ensemble prior to performing the admission baptism on the aspiring novices.
The parade will take Calle Santa Comba and backtrack along Calle del Doctor Casal, arriving at the church located on that same street which they will skirt to access, at around 8pm, the underpass of the M-30. They will finally bury the sardine at Fuente de los Pajaritos in Plaza de las Moreras (Casa de Campo), and will wrap it up with a great bonfire that as they say, they hope will burn away all bad acts and thoughts and they also hope that from the ashes, the happiness, peace and harmony so typical of the people of Madrid, will be reborn. During most of the route they will be accompanied by Goya’s stage scene “Burial of the Sardine”, played by the Morboria theatre company.
Don’t miss this unique and weird event!!