Burial of the Sardine on Ash Wednesday 6 weeks before Easter
There is a tradition in Alicante that occurs on Ash Wednesday every year called “El Entierro de la Sardina” which translates to “the burial of the sardine”.
There are large groups of people who dress up in black clothing and mourn the death of the sardine. They parade through the streets of Alicante with a symbolic large “Sardine”.
The parade works its way through the streets and finishes in la Plaza del Carmen in the old quarter of Alicante.
We went to the Plaza del Carmen and waited for the Parade to arrive. When the Sardine parade arrived there were people dressed in mourning and others wearing devil horns. We watched as they assembled the base and mounted the sardine for the funeral.
Before they burn the sardine a “priest” goes on stage and recites a prayer. The prayer is symbolism of different endings for food and drink in preparation for lent. The sardine is the symbol of the past festivals and enjoyment of drink and food. The death of the sardine represents the beginning of lent.