For another year one of the most enjoyable and wild parties of the year is coming, the Barcelona Carnival! From the 20th to 26th February the streets of our city will be decorated for the week to welcome the king of carnival through masked dancing, parades, activities, costumes and music in every one of the neighbourhoods of the city.
Barcelona Carnival: Party and Parades
The party starts on Fat Thurdsday, a very important day for Catalonia as the tradition dictates the making of “Butifarradas” (Places to eat butifarras), egg and “coca de llardons” (pork pies). Furthermore, this is the most important day of the week as it celebrates the arrival of the King of the Carnival to the city, together with his 7 ambassadors, one for each historic neighbourhood of Barcelona (Gràcia, Horta, Les Corts, Sant Andreu, Sant Martí, Sarrià and Sants). With the arrival of the king of the Barcelona Carnival having parades with floats through the city centre, Las Ramblas, the Gothic Quarter and will finish at Plaza Sant Jaume, where the king will give an inaugurating speech for the week of partying ahead.
Another of the important days is the Sunday, where they celebrate the procession of the king of the carnival. At the ends, the “Taronjada” begins. A ´battle’ where the people in the parade throw confetti and orange balloons. Without doubt the most colourful and enjoyable of celebrations. In addition, this tradition originates from old medieval festivals where they threw oranges at one another.
Author: Barcelona.cat (Albert Burjachs and Regina Navarro)
After almost a week of parties in the city, the moment comes to condemn the king of Barcelona Carnival for his excessive nature and sins committed, therefore the “Ash Wednesday” they celebrate “the burial”. Finishing with a satirical parade with the procession of the dead king. In the same way, this day starts Lent, the time where Jesus returns to the desert for 40 days.
It is important to clarify that each neighbourhood has its own celebrations, therefore the experience you have depends on where you find yourself. Yet still, the most notorious parties are those organised in the neighbourhoods of Gràcia and El Born.
Some of the most important activities in these festivities are related with food, therefore it is common to organise contests of tortillas, paellas and xatonadas (where people in the neighbourhood come to eat this avocado, which is very typical Catalan and is made with raw cod, escarole and xató sauce).
Although it is hard to believe, there is a festival in Barcelona even more famous that the Barcelona Carnival, that is the Sitges Carnival. This carnival is also celebrated from the 20th to 26th February and, over a week, this wonderful coastal town in Catalonia gives 100% to celebrate one of the best parties in the year.
The Sitges Carnival is very famous among locals as, although a small yet popular population, it always puts on a huge party every day of the festivities with large floats, parades, dances and drinks. Furthermore, each day is different to before as, in keeping with tradition, they celebrate different stages for what happens to the king of the carnival: the arrival, the “taronjada”, the procession of the ambassadors, the condemnation of his sins and the ending of the festival with his burial.
The Sitges Carnival is known for organising wild and unique activities that you will not find in other festivals of Catalonia, as is the street of “decorated beds”. This entertaining celebration consists in each team dressing up a bed in a certain theme and, with a member of the team on top of it and the rest dressed up accordingly, pass through the circuit of the street showing off their creation. The most crazy, original and creative wins!
One of the reasons why the Sitges Carnival is so popular is because it is seen, as one of the most gay-friendly festivals where people can dress up however they like and not be judged, therefore everyone is welcome!
Although the Barcelona Carnival is a great celebration for the whole family, where they organise hundreds of activites, festivities and celebrations, if what you want is to go party hard with your friends and have an unforgettable night full of surprises then you have to go to Sitges Carnival.
As you now know, if you don´t have plans to celebrate carnival, don’t doubt for a moment about going to Barcelona Carnival, where you will not only have a great time with your friends and family each day, but you with have unique and unforgettable experiences thanks to the crazy contagiousness of this party. You won´t want to miss out!