The Olympics are in the air. You’re in Spain, and conversation about what’s happening in Rio seems to be everywhere you turn. But what are people talking about and how do you jump right in there and keep up with the conversation in Spanish? Who are the most famous Spanish athletes? What are some common ways to talk about sports (and in particular the Olympics) in Spanish? Check out some of these tips for talking about the Olympics with Spaniards (in Spanish) and to keep up with all the chatter.
The celebration of the Chinese New Year is starting to be an important event in some Spanish cities. Two factors have contributed to this fact; first is the growth of the Asian population in Spain, and second is the Spanish population’s fascination with this ancient culture. Each year more and more people take part in these activities, increasingly organized by official institutions and we are able to see the celebratory side of this country of increasing importance on a global scale.
If there is anything that differentiates the Carnival in Cádiz form the rest of the Carnival celebrations around the world, it would be that in Cádiz, for an entire week, the celebration is held almost exclusively in the street. Music and good feelings flood the city during this time, but before this street party kicks off a contest is held in the Gran Teatro Falla to determine the best Carnival associations.
These associations, or agrupaciones, are comprised of choruses, comparsas, quartets and chirigotas. These groups dress in costumes and sing about current events, often with biting social commentary. In this contest, they will try to outwit and outdo the other groups with the hope of being the winner in their class.
The choruses (or coros) are the largest associations that include different musical instruments baking up a large vocal section. Even though quartets (or cuartetos) implies four people, these groups are actually formed by three to five people and don’t rely on instruments. Finally, there are the comparsas and chirigotas which have many similarities.
Like the comparsas, chirigotas sing while accompanied by guitars, a bass drum, a caja (a typical Andalusian percussion instrument common in flamenco) and the famous pito or güiro (kazoo), but what is the difference?
Compared to the chirigota, the comparsa is an association that is offers a more critical view of society and current and social events. Their lyrics tend to be more poetic with a more social message and their purpose isn’t necessarily to be funny. The groups are formed by 12 to 15 members and comprised of different voices like octavilla (singing two notes above the tenor), contralto, tenor and segunda (baritone). The structure of a typical comparsa is the following: presentation, pasodobles, cuplés, chorus and medley.
The Chirigotas also offers original and witty lyrics with the purpose of making people laugh. These associations are comprised of between seven and 15 people whose voices range from contralto, tenor and baritone. A typical chirigota has 5 fundamental parts: presentation, pasodobles x2, cuplés x2, chorus (repeated after each cuplé) and medley.
Do you want to know more about Carnival in Spain? Then don’t miss our article in Enforex.com
It is said that on the last Wednesday of August of 1945, a group of friends caused one of the participants of the Giants and Big-Heads parade to fall down in a village near Valencia. The injured citizen, in a fit of explosive rage, began chasing the gang throwing at them anything he found on his way. He finally arrived to a vegetable peddler and, realizing how effective can this ammunition be, started throwing tomatoes at the kids.
The only way to learn a language is by expanding your horizons and our students know this because they come from all over the world to experience Spanish culture. Thanks to them we are celebrating our tenth birthday.
El lunes siguiente al domingo de Pentecostés tiene lugar en Andalucía una de las celebraciones más singulares de España: la festividad de la Virgen del Rocío.
Somebody once said, in a fit of irony, that after adopting Santa Claus and Halloween it wouldn’t surprise them to see the Spanish people celebrating something as North American as the Thanksgiving dinner. Well, as we have already cleared up that Santa Claus is in fact originally the European Saint Nicholas and that Halloween is a celebration with Celtic origins, we are now going to de-bunk another myth.
The San Sebastián Film Festival has been a special date in the calendar every year since it was founded in 1953. It takes place in the small city of San Sebastián in the Basque Country and this international film festival has been declared as “A category” by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF). It has established itself as one of the most important film festivals of the world and hosted premieres for many important films in history, such as Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo”. This year the festival will take place between the 20th and 28th September and will be the 61st San Sebastián Festival. Continue reading…
There’s not long left to find out who will be hosting the 2020 Olympic Games. On 7th September 2013 in Buenos Aires, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will select the host city for the summer Olympics which will take place in just under seven years’ time. But who is it going to be?
The three possibilities are that of Istanbul, Tokyo, or Spain’s very own capital city, Madrid.
Madrid is split into different barrios (districts) and given that each one has its own fiesta celebrations at different times of the year, you will never be bored in Madrid. You will also find other places outside of Madrid city centre, which have their own festival traditions. Each place will have a time to shine during the year when it’s their turn to host a “fiesta”. Let’s have a look through the Madrid calendar and see what the city and the surrounding area have to offer.