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Parades, floats and pageantry. Make the most of the carnivals in Barcelona!

By | 14 February, 2019 | 0 comments

They’re the most fun parties of the year. The freest, funniest and wildest events you could imagine. All you have to do is throw on your best costume and head down onto the streets to get the party started. And that’s what carnival is all about. Barcelona is one of those cities that simply comes alive when there’s something to be celebrated. And it never fails to put its own unique stamp on proceedings, transforming the city’s streets into a multi-coloured catwalk when carnival comes around. A once-in-a-lifetime experience, turning Barcelona into an even greater attraction for tourists and locals alike. Just another reason to visit the great city and round off your trip with some singing, laughing, jumping and dancing.

carnavales en Barcelona

The starting pistol for Barcelona’s carnival season is known as Jueves Lardero (or Fat Thursday), with its parades and traditional butifarras de huevo tastings! The party lasts almost a week, right up until Ash Wednesday and the traditional ‘burying of the sardine’ ceremony.

What to do at carnivals in Barcelona?

Barcelona’s carnival parades are without doubt the perfect incentive for anyone planning to visit the city at this time of year. On Fat Thursday, this year taking place on 28 February 2019, the curtain goes up on the city’s events with the arrival of the Carnival King (Rei Carnestoltes) and his seven ambassadors. But there’s nothing random about that number. The seven ambassadors actually represent the seven towns that originally formed the city, as well as the seven deadly sins… They all parade through the streets of the Gothic Quarter, amongst great fever and expectation, until they reach Plaza de Sant Jaume, where Barcelona carnival officially begins.

Another one of the most colourful events in the city’s calendar, especially for tourists visiting Barcelona during these exciting occasions, is one that takes place on Carnival Sunday. Throughout the entire afternoon, you can enjoy the Rúas de Carnaval parade. Every neighbourhood has its own traditions, but they all involve colourful parades and floats alongside music and some truly extravagant costumes.

The following day, on Carnival Sunday, the party continues with the ‘Taronjada’. Once again, this is where the Carnival King and his ambassadors take the spotlight with a new parade through the streets of Barcelona, which all draws to a close with the most exciting battle imaginable. Onlookers throw confetti and carry enormous orange balloons as they walk. And the orange balloons are no accident either. It’s a way of remembering the oranges that would be thrown at the same parades back in the medieval age.

On Monday and Tuesday of carnival, each neighbourhood plans its own activities, including costume contests, food tastings, live music and more. But there’s certainly no room for boredom here, and the fun doesn’t stop until all the way up to Ash Wednesday. That’s when carnival in Barcelona comes to an end, with the traditional ‘burying of the sardine’. The city’s streets change colour into mourning to accompany this symbolic funeral procession. And it all takes place with the same wild and extravagant spirit you’ll have experienced at the rest of the events since Fat Thursday. The cries are exaggerated and roaring laughter fills the streets. The Carnival King then waves goodbye until next year, and lent in Barcelona can begin…

Categories: barcelona

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