Carnival plans for Barcelona and surroundings

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Barcelona is a city full of traditions and celebrations. One of the most outstanding is the Carnival of Barcelona, or “Carnestoltes” in Catalan, which this year is celebrated from Thursday 16 to Wednesday 22 February. Because it’s a lunar festival, each year the dates vary. The explanation is that the carnival is celebrated seven weeks after the first full moon of the winter solstice. 

It’s a festival known for its parades and events in the streets of the city. 

Tradition

The tradition of Carnival in Barcelona dates back to medieval times, when people would dress up in costumes and gather in the streets to celebrate before the beginning of the Lenten fast. We don’t know for sure the precise beginning of this festivity, but we have documentation from the year 1333, in which the use of masks and the traditional throwing of oranges “Taronjada” began to be prohibited. However, during the 15th century, the Carnival lasted several weeks and the events began to get out of control. The authorities began to regulate the celebration of Carnival, so it could be said that the modern Carnival began with such regulations.

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Today we have several Carnival traditions in Barcelona:

Costumes: both children and adults choose this day to wear their costumes of characters such as superheroes, animals, animated characters…. Parents take advantage of this day for children to enjoy their costumes in schools and in the streets. 

Special meals: this is a festivity marked by gastronomy. During these days it is typical to eat egg sausage or “Butifarra d’ou” and omelette. As for sweets, one of the specialties and traditions of this holiday is to eat “buñuelos de viento” or fritters filled with cream and “coca de llardons”.

Events in Barcelona

The most important events in Barcelona are divided as follows:

Thursday Lardero or Dijous Gras (February 16): day called “Arribo”, in Spanish “La llegada”, and it’s the inaugural act of the carnival festivities, moment in which the King Carnestoltes or King of Carnival is presented. On the same day, there is also a costume parade, firewalls and the “Taronjada”, an ancient tradition that consists of a battle of oranges in which King Carnestoltes also participates. 

Saturday (February 18): the carnival parades take place. Festive and colorful parades are organized in the different neighborhoods of Barcelona, where participants enjoy themselves and show off their costumes.

Wednesday (February 22): known as “Ash Wednesday” or the “Burial of the Sardine”, is the day that ends the carnival. The main event consists of a farewell to the King of Carnival and the festivities, as well as the beginning of Lent. Popular meals are usually held in different neighborhoods.

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Sitges Carnival

One of the most outstanding and famous events of the Barcelona Carnival is the Sitges Carnival, which is held in the coastal town of Sitges, about 40 kilometers from Barcelona. The Sitges Carnival stands out for its great Carnival parade, different night plans, thematic activities… 

The TwentyTú team also joins the celebration, dressing up and creating a carnival atmosphere on these dates. Book now and enjoy Carnival with family and friends.

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