Basque Country




Discover the carnival in Alava

  • Carnivals in Zalduondo
  • Markitos, the main character of Zalduondo carnival

Discover the carnival in Alava

The people of Alava have an ample range of carnivals to choose from. In Vitoria-Gasteiz, for example, carnival begins on "Jueves Gordo" (Lardy Thursday), when various children choirs of the city perform. But it is at the weekend that the carnivals reach their peak, with the popular disguise competitions and the mass krewe parades. The festivities draw to a close with the burial of the sardine, which takes place in Plaza Nueva.


In addition, Zalduondo celebrates a rural-character carnival. The popular event is considered to be one of the oldest celebrations of Alava. Together with many carnival characters, Zalduondo inhabitants parade up and down on Sunday with an eccentric puppet known as Markitos. Its life is short as after standing trial the puppet is burnt at the stake in front of the inhabitants of Zalduondo and the region of Salvatierra-Agurain. The emblematic character represents the evilness of natives. So, when Markitos is burnt all the inhabitants' sins are expiated.


As for Santa Cruz de Campezo, on Tuesday, the area will be focusing on Toribio. This singular puppet is also blamed for the shortage the town has suffered throughout the year. Therefore, Toribio is condemned to death and subsequently drowned in the river. Following the sentence, all the inhabitants, children included, ask for throwing it into the river.


Laudio celebrates carnival day on Saturday. The event kicks off with the parade of Letziaga witch. Legend has it that the crone lived inside Letziaga cave and used to attract men from the region by means of chants. The puppet symbolising the witch is paraded through the streets of Laudio and then burnt.


We cannot miss Agurain carnival. Two people disguised as Porrero and La Sorgina welcome the carnival on Friday. Every year two different people play the role of the two figures. Saturday gives way to traditional fancy dress contests but the most remarkable performances take place when hundreds of people disguised as "porreros" and "sorginas" parade through the streets and when Sunday welcomes the rural carnival. The popular figures bid farewell on Tuesday to finish the event.


On the other hand, Porretero is without doubt, the main character in the carnival of Salcedo (Lantarón). Following the sentence, the puppet ends up onto a roof.

Special offers

Special offers

Information of interest

Date: 25/02/2022 - 01/03/2022