Carnival is here once again! Barcelona celebrates carnival party from the 12th to the 18th of February, with dancing, music, costume parties, traditions and general merrymaking.
THURSDAY FEBRUARY 12
Traditionally the festival begins with ‘Fat Thursday’ when local high calorie foods including ‘botifarra d’ou’ (‘botifarra’ sausage made with egg), ‘tortillas’ (omelettes) and ‘cocas de chicharrones’ (a type of sweet bread made with pork rinds) are eaten – a way of fattening up before lent.
The festival officially kicks off at 6pm with a carnival parade featuring dancers, musicians, jugglers and acrobats. This starts in the Plaça de Sant Cugat and ends in the Born at the Cultural Centre. It is followed by a spectacular carnival fireworks show.
FRIDAY FEBRUARY 13
On Friday a new event will be introduced for Carnival 2015: El Baile del Rodolí: a new, boisterous masked dance, where participants will leave the choice of their dancing partner to chance via a pre-dance game. It takes place at 7pm, in the Born Cultural Centre.
SATURDAY FEBRUARY 14
On Saturday the Barcelona Carnival spreads out to all of the city’s neighbourhoods, with parades taking place in each city district involving giant floats, actors, extravagant costumes, and choreographed dance routines starring people from the barrio.
SUNDAY FEBRUARY 15
La Taronjada takes place on Sunday. This is one of the main events in Barcelona’s Carnival festival, and includes four different activities.
4.30pm: Popular Culture and Traditional Catalan Carnival Dances at Plaça Comercial. Enjoy traditional dances from around Catalonia.
5.15pm: Parade of the King of the Carnival. This starts off at the Mercat de Santa Caterina and ends in Plaça Comercial. As the name suggests, the main feature is His Majesty of the Carnival, though the parade also features ambassadors from the seven former independent towns now incorporated into Barcelona’s city limits, as well as horse-drawn carriages, musicians and fancy dress.
6.15pm: The Battle of La Taronjada. Not a fierce battle, and set in Plaça Comercial, which will be the festooned with orange balloons and confetti, followed by a collective flash mob!
6.30pm: Topping off a great day, it’s time for the traditional Masquerade Dance.
WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 18
The traditional end to any Barcelona carnival is marked by the rather surreal burial of the Sardine. This takes place in the Parc de la Ciutadella, where a party with live music, a chocolate feast, concerts and cartoons for children takes place, starting at 11am.
Don’t be expect to see any sardines buried as this is purely a symbolic event at the end of Carnival representing rebirth.