25 Apr [:en]El Carnaval[:]
[:en]Barcelona is never short of activities to do or festivals to attend and El Carnaval is one surely not to miss. The seven-day event, perhaps a little tamer than other carnivals across the world, (but certainly still as good) is an event to attend for the whole family. The family friendly vibe means that there are events for everyone to enjoy across all areas of the city and Cataluña.
With lent just over a week away, El Carnaval celebrates the days prior to Easter which are meant for fasting. In the UK upcoming lent is celebrated with Shrove Tuesday, where pancakes are eaten, but what better way to celebrate it here in Barcelona, in true Spanish tradition, than spending days of eating good food and partying.
Events begin with ´Jueves Lardero´or ´Dirty Thursday´ (04/02/2016). The name says it all, as people across the city eat what they want before they are deprived over lent. Hotdog eating contests take place and some people eat entire Chorizos. It is also tradition here is Cataluña to eat tortilla de butifarra (sausage).
The highlight of the weekend has to be the Parades that take place, with the one in Ribera/Born being two of the best. Events will be taking place this year during the afternoon and the evening and you will be sure to find things going on in your local areas. Dancers, bands, jugglers and singers dressed in bright colours fill the street and put on the show.
The biggest parade of the week has to be La Taronjada, which is also in the Ribera/Born area. In the past, real oranges were thrown as part of the celebration but now you can enjoy the display of giant orange balloons and confetti. Visitors also go to have a ´pretend´ fight to honor tradition.
To enjoy the best part of the weekend here´s the details:
17:00h- Plaza Comercial- Dances.
17:45- Barrio de la Ribera- The procession of King Carnestoltes
18:40- Plaza Comercial- La Taronjada.
18:45- Plaza Comercial- The Evening Party
On Ash Wednesday, the El Carnaval comes to an end with the ´funeral of the sardine´. The King of Carnival dies and is buried in his grave, accompanied by his widow and companions – the colourful costumes are appropriately exchanged to black mourning clothes and traditionally black is worn on this day.
For those who like to party a little harder should head to the famous events in Sitges. Known as the gay and lesbian capital of the world, Sitges has celebrated El Carnaval for over 100 years. The atmosphere is electric with colourful parades during the celebration. Highlights are definitely those on Dirty Thursday as King Carnestoltes moves to Sitges. On the Sunday, the parade at Rua de la Disbauxa is not to be missed or the one at Rua de l’Exterminiam on the Tuesday. These parades can be enjoyed by all the family and are sure to attract crowds from all around.
If you are living in Barcelona, you can easily catch a train from the main station Sants. The journey only takes 40 minutes. El Carnaval is one of the biggest events of the year so don´t miss out on all the events that are on offer! ¡Happy Carnaval![:]