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Barcelona carnival 2017

Barcelona Carnival
Photo by Carlos Lorenzo with kind permission. More Barcelona carnival photos        

Barcelona Carnaval 2017                     

Barcelona carnival 2017 The carnaval week returns to Barcelona from Thursday 23rd February 2017 to Wednesday 1st March 2017.
In Catalunya the carnival is called 'carnestoltes'. 

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2017 Barcelona Carnival week. What to see at the Barcelona carnaval. The Barcelona Carnival is a week long programme with many festive events and processions. The carnival dates changes every year and in 2017 the Barcelona carnival starts on Thursday 23rd February with the arrival of the carnival King and finishes on Ash Wednesday 1st March 2017, when the Barcelona 'carnival sardine' is buried. 

Find all the major events on the Barcelona Carnival website, which is in Catalan and Spanish language or search on Twitter using the hashtag #carnavalbcn. 

Carnival is called 'carnestoltes' in Catalan. If you prefer an English overview we have also listed some of the top Barcelona Carnival events further down this page and some useful information about carnival traditions.

In Barcelona the carnival is mostly for children. For adult street party carnival events we can recommend Sitges carnaval, which is just 30 minutes south of Barcelona and has much more of a street party and fancy dress atmosphere.

The Barcelona Carnaval takes inspiration from ancient carnival traditions dating back to the 14th century. In 2017 there will be around 100 local and festive events and over 30 local carnaval parades in all areas of Barcelona throughout the carnaval week.

Most of the carnival parades are on Saturday 25 February 2017. Find Barcelona carnival parades

You can also see extravagant and colourful carnaval parades at the Sitges Carnival thanks to a fantastic annual effort by Sitges residents and the vibrant and enthusiatic gay community of Sitges. 

Barcelona party /fancy dress costume shops

Carnaval highlights & parades

Dijous Gras -  Fat Thursday - Jueves Ladero

Thursday 23rd February 2017 is Fat Thursday and the first day of the carnival. Fat Thursday  called “Dijous Gras” in Catalan and  “Jueves Ladero” in Spanish is similar to Shrove Tuesday in English. The general theme of a carnival is to eat, drink, dance and generally have a huge party and it starts on Fat Thursday, because this is the day when you start to stuff yourself during carnaval week in preparation for the fasting period of Lent, which begins after the carneval officially ends.

Barcelona food markets celebrate Fat Thursday with many events and competitions all over Barcelona.  The main character of the Spanish carnavals is the King Carnival - called 'Rei Carnestoltes' in Catalan and 'Rey Carnaval' in Spanish. The King Carnaval ceremony and parade opens the carnaval week in Barcelona. The symbolic role of the Carnival King is to carry all the sins of power, and take responsibility for all the bad things that occurred throughout the year. On the last day of Carnival, the carnival king’s last will and testament is read out in public. Then he is condemned and burnt, which is signal to have a huge feast. The sad death of the King marks the end of the carnival with funeral corteges complete with grieving widows in black and other events in his honour all over the city.

L'Arribo - The arrival of King Carnaval - Rei Carnestoltes.
Thursday 23rd February 2017 from 5.45 pm to 19.30 pm. The first parades of the carnival are to celebrate the arrival of the King Carnival. You can see the Rei Carnestoltes in processions in many local "barrios" neighbourhoods often starting from "mercat" food markets in Barcelona. For visitors, we recommend the Rei Carnestoltes procession in old city centre which starts from Palau de la Virreina on La Rambla street at 5.45pm and ends at Plaça de Sant Jaume where you can enjoy La Taronjada which is one of the oldest Carnival traditions inspired by the original battle of orange throwing. In the modern La Taronjada is only a battle of colour with orange balloons and confetti doing battle.


Las ruas de carnaval - carnival parades

Saturday 25th February 2017. There are around 30 local Cavalcada del Rei Carnestoltes processions in all distrcts of Barcelona. For visitors we recommend the Rua 'Carnavalassu 2017 in the old city area of Barcelona. Find all Barcelona carnival parades

Rua 'Carnavalassu 2017'
Date: Saturday 25th February 2017 
Time: 18:30 to 20:30 - 5pm to 8.30pm
Starts on: Plaça de la Mercè
Ends on: Carrer del Pou de la Figuera
Parade route: Pl. de la Mercè, c. Regomir, c. Ciutat, pl. Sant Jaume, c. Jaume I, c. Princesa, c. Tantarantana, pl. Sant Agustí Vell, c. Serra Xic to finish at c. Pou de la Figuerav

La Taronjada Barcelona Carnival

More Barcelona Carnival activities 

Most of the activities during the Barcelona Carnaval are in the barrios (neighbourhoods) of Barcelona.  Each barrio (neighbourhood) organizes their own parades and festivities, so keep your eyes open for posters advertising carnaval events in your area or visit the carnival website for a full list of activities and programme. The activities are usually centred around the civic centres and the food markets in each district of Barcelona.

Carneval activities in Barcelona usually include parades, lots of competitions for the kids, like fancy dress competitions and food and cooking competitions with prizes for everyone. Among the activities you will always find some that celebrate the traditions of eating eggs, usually in the form of tortilla (omelette) cooking and tasting competitions. And don't miss the “botifarrada,” where everyone eats botifarra (Catalan sausage) to their hearts content. Apart from tortillas and botifarra, sardines are the other main ingredient in Catalan carnival tradition and there are many sardine tasting events.

The Barcelona market organization "Mercats de Barcelona," award the best decorated stalls and shops in each food market the traditional and much coveted Golden Pepper award called "Pebrot d'Or" – “Pimiento de Oro.”

The Barcelona Carnival ends on Ash Wednesday, “el Miércoles de Ceniza." The ending is celebrated with a traditional “Enterrament de la Sardina,” ceremony. This means the 'burial the sardine'. There are around 8 sardines burials in Barcelona to mark the end of the carnival period in various districts of Barcelona including in the biggest Parc de la Ciutadella

Barcelona Carneval website
Website BCN food markets
Civic centres Barcelona - local carnaval activities
Sitges carnaval website
Highlights Sitges Carnival

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Last Updated on Thursday, 23 February 2017 23:28