With the arrival of the first weekend comes Carnival, a huge parade in town which gives us a chance to dress up, go through the streets and potentially win some prize money. Of course, the money isn't what it's all about, as you're all too busy having the time of your lives to even begin thinking about winning. It's hard to remember it's actually a competition when you're dancing through the streets and throwing confetti at everyone.
This year, my dance teacher and all of her dance pupils, plus our friends and family decided to go as the 101 Dalmatians. This was such a popular and fantastic idea that people were queuing to sign up. So many people in fact that they're ended up being over 160 of us. Yes, 160 dalmatians running round the streets of Álora. Insane.
Of course, taking costumes takes time, so the day before Carnival, myself and Noelia ventured into town to buy some essential items and got cracking with our costumes! We started practicing with some make-up, before getting started with our costumes! There was no point buying costumes as they were all rather expensive, and it's much more fun to make your own! We bought some white leggings and a white top and spray painted them, and then one of our friend's Mam's made us some tails! We all wore white converse-esque shoes with black ribbon, painted our faces, and some of us even dyed our hair.
Here are some photos of us making our costumes! Well, of Noelia making our costumes. I took selfies and sunbathed.
The next day, we arrived at our dance studios to all get ready together. My dance teacher, Mónica, who is like a big sister and a friend to all of us must be a saint. Helping all 160 of us get ready, all whilst trying to get ready herself and teach everyone a quick dance which we would later do round the streets and also on stage during a presentation to the crowd. Mónica also made some collars for us, bagged us some confetti for us to throw and made some collection boxes which we would use to ask people to make donations to a local charity. She also made some stickers for us to give to everyone that donated. She went to so much effort and got nothing out of it, and never complained once! We were so grateful.
After getting dressed and learning the dance, it was time to hit the streets. All 160 lined up in town with all the other participants and got ready for the Parade. It was so much fun and there were so many people with cameras, clicking away, trying to capture every moment! We all threw so much confetti that, two weeks on, there is still piles of the stuff in town!
Spot the odd one out in this photo... Only one person has managed to spot it so far! Be sure to comment if you notice ;)
Once arrive in the 'Top Square' which was our final stop, we all clambered on to the stage to do our dance and presentation. We all tried especially hard as, should we have win, we'd be giving the money to local food banks....
...And winning is exactly what we did! We had to wait a good two hours before we found out and before they got through the prices and, as the winner was announced, we didn't even hear our names be called! We all sort of looked at each other and it wasn't until someone said "Did he just say the Dalmatians?" that is sunk in and we all went rushing to the stage! We were presented with a certificate and a cheque for 300€, all of which is going to the local food bank. We were so happy, and did our dance a few more times to celebrate!
After staying in the square for a little while longer to celebrate and have a few drinks, it was time to go back to Saoirse's house to wash the layer of make-up of our faces and to wash the black hair-dye, which had now turned a slight grey colour, out of Saoirse's hair. It took us a few showers to get completely clean and to get all the confetti out of our hair!
All in all, it was an absolutely wonderful day with the most incredible atmosphere and a day to be remembered forever. We're already planning our outfits and counting down the days for next year!