IN PICS: A look at Spain’s favourite Carnival costumes for 2020

It’s carnival time in Spain which means a whole host of costumes that push the boundaries of good taste and political correctness.

IN PICS: A look at Spain’s favourite Carnival costumes for 2020
Satisfyer Pro 2 sex toy costumes are selling out fast. Photo:

This is Spain after all and that means anything goes, whether it is dressing up as giant sex toy, imitating one of the political elite or even the royal family, or making a mockery of the Church.

You’ll even find some who “black-up” as part of the celebrations, an act that astounds visitors from the United States but is fairly common practice (Until fairly recently King Balthasar was usually represented by a local politician in ‘blackface’ during the Three Kings parades).

While different places across Spain have their own particular way of celebrating Carnival, dressing up in costumes, often with friendship groups taking on the same theme, before going out to celebrate is all part of the fun.

READ MORE:  The crazy ways to celebrate carnival in Spain


Here are this year’s best sellers:

According to reports in various Spanish newspapers, this year’s number one bestselling costume is the Satisfyer,  a giant pink all over body suit representing the popular clitoral stimulator. So if you want to go out and have fun looking like a giant sex toy, this is the outfit for you!

Number two on the list is the rather less sexy and far more sinister Coronavirus outfit.

The outfit comprises a toxic looking vibrant green colour skintight bodysuit with an image of the magnified virus microbe emblazoned on the chest, this snazzy costume comes with a crown (corona) of course.

Expect variations on the coronavirus theme, such as all over Hasmat suits or for the lazy lastminuters simply a protective face mask.

Next up is an outfit inspired by Spain’s hit Netflix series La Casa de Papel (Money Heist in English) which involves donning a red boiler suit, mask with Daliesque moustache and a replica assault weapon.

The series, about a long-prepared, multiple-day assault on the Royal Mint of Spain, is Netflix's most watched non-English language show. 

If you want to go for something more political, the exiled leader of the Catalan independence movement has proved a hugely popular costume choice at both Halloween and Carnival ever since. 

Props include, full head of glossy dark hair, combed forward. Glasses,black suit with a yellow ribbon on the label (in support of Catalan political prisoners) and waving an Estelada flag. You could also get away with drinking Belgian beer all evening, since Puigdemont is in exile in Belgium avoiding charges of sedition and rebellion in Spain. 

Let’s not forget that Carnival is a pre-Lent blow out to burn up excesses before the imposed austerity of the 40 days running up to Easter, so as a religious festival some feel the Church should be represented.

Dressing up as clergy remains a popular choice, although the clergy themselves sometimes choose more racy outfits!

READ MORE:  Priest who dressed up as Hugh Hefner and simulated sex with male playboy bunnies seeks forgiveness

Dressing up as a member of the Catholic Clergy is always a great fallback for Carnival. File photo: José Luis Roca/AFP

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In Pictures: Spain’s Fallas festival returns after pandemic pause

Valencia's Fallas festival wrapped up with fireworks and the burning of colourful sculptures on Sunday after returning to the eastern Spanish city following a pandemic-induced hiatus.

In Pictures: Spain's Fallas festival returns after pandemic pause
Ninots (cardboard effigies) burn as one installation of the Fallas Festival is set alight in Valencia on September 5, 2021. Photos: José Jordan/AFP

The five-day festival is traditionally held in March but was cancelled last year as the Covid-19 pandemic swept Spain. This year, officials postponed the start of the UNESCO-recognised event until September 1st.

It was the first time that the festival was suspended since the end of Spain’s 1936-39 Civil War.

Each year, residents make hundreds of colourful puppet-like sculptures — some as big as a four-storey building — out of wood, plaster and papier-mache for the festival.

Called “ninots”, the sculptures depict fairytale characters and cartoonish effigies of politicians and celebrities.

One ensemble from this year’s event was inspired by the hit Spanish Netflix series “Money Heist”. It depicted several people wearing red overalls and Salvador Dali face masks like the main characters in the show.

The ninots are displayed in the streets of the Mediterranean city and then burned on the last day of the festival — in a bonfire called the “Cremà” — in a centuries-old tradition honouring St Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters.

Fireworks lit up the night sky as this year’s bonfire, which features about 750 sculptures, was held without the thousands of spectators that the event usually draws.

The bonfire was brought forward by two hours to allow festivities to end before a nightly virus curfew came into effect at 1:00 am (2300 GMT).

After much debate a customary flower offering to the Virgin Mary was allowed to proceed — but without people lining the route, as is tradition.

“These are not Fallas as such, more like Fallas-related events that comply with health regulations,” said Valencia mayor Joan Ribo.

The Fallas festival is believed to have originated from pagan rituals marking the end of winter.

The pandemic has forced the cancellation of many of Spain’s most famous fiestas, including Pamplona’s bull-running festival and Seville’s Holy Week processions.