El Entierro de la Sardina

El Entierro de la Sardina

This is a truly unusual ceremony which takes place in Ayamonte on Ash Wednesday it is called El Entierro de la Sardina which literally means the burial of the sardine. A large number of people get together to observe a centuries old annual tradition of burying a dead fish or the likeness of one. This ceremony is based on the belief of burying our past in the hopes of creating a better and more fruitful future.

This satirical ceremony simulates a burial procession of a sardine real or fake which gets solemnly paraded around the city streets in a coffin. Men and women dress up in black period costume clothes, with men sometimes daring to dress up as weeping widows with the typical black Spanish lace veil covering their heads. The sardine is the symbol of the past , while its death and burial represent the end of carnival season and the beginning of the religious fasting period as well as the possibility of rejuvenation and rebirth. People mourn their feelings of sadness over the ending of this festive season and how it implies the beginning of staunch religious time.