06 Feb The Carnival of Cádiz says goodbye to ´El Love´
One of the most important celebrations in the province of Cadiz is its Carnival. The carnivals of Cádiz and Santa Cruz of Tenerife are the most famous and talked about in Spain. Every year, during January and February, the Official Festival of Carnival Music Groups is celebrated in the Gran Teatro Falla. There are four different of styles that compete for a prize in the final: ‘chirigotas’, ‘comparsas’, quartets and choirs. The lyrics of the songs are full of jokes and humorous rhymes that comment on current affairs and recent social events, as well as the beauty of the city of Cádiz and its people.
One of the most famous chirigota singers in the history of the Carnival of Cádiz is ´El Love´. Jose Luis Ballesteros (El Love) is one of the reasons why the Carnival of Cádiz is considered by many to be one of the most important carnivals in the world. The lyrics of his numerous songs are engraved in the memory of Gaditanians and other Carnival lovers. ”Las momias de güete pa gua los niños del grupo”, “Los príncipes encantados”, “Una chirigota con clase”, “Los juancojones”, “Ojú ya saltó el levante”, “Ay, que malito estoy y que poquito me quejo” and “Los puretas del caribe” were the chirigotas leaded by ´El Love´ that won first prizes over the years. There have been more than 30 years of funny stories, hard work and much laughter.
Unfortunately for all Carnival lovers, this year the chirigota leaded by ´El Love´ decided not to compete in the official festival.
El Love will continue enjoying the carnival but from now on, just as a hobby. He does not discount the possibility of joining the unofficial and very popular street carnival festival, but with the aim of simply having a good time.
The unofficial Carnival is vitally important. Thousands of tourists and locals throng the streets listening to chirigotas and choirs use lyrics similar to those of the ‘official festival’ , also highlighting current affairs and social commentary, but with strong emphasis on comedy. The crowds also enjoy the best typical gourmet products of the province of Cádiz – Iberian ham, cheese from Grazalema, red tuna, roast pepper salad, chicharrones, pork and the finest Sherry wine are consumed in prodigious quantities.