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Carnival of Barcelona

Barcelona has its own carnival, of course not so famous than the ones of Brazil and the Canaries for instance and neither so big but the most important in this kind of event is to have fun, a lot and great funs.

The origin of the carnival has not date but it owns a close relation with rite and festivity pagans. One of the possibilities is with celebrations related to Saturn which were celebrated during the roman period. It was usual to parade in the street of the city with a ship above a chariot called carrus navalis.

The first carnival at Barcelona was in 1333 and at this time, there had some restrictions like the interdiction to

ride in costume. Over the years, it has changed a lot but in same time, it has kept some former traditions like the permissiveness festive, the custom license and the order transgression. In spite of everything, the carnival was a time in which all was allowed before the apparition of the lent with its abstention and penance days.

carnival carnival

Over time, the lent has lost its significance and the carnival of Barcelona lived its glorious moments at the 19th century when, in 1859, it was created the Borne Society by Sebastià Junyent i Comes, totally dedicated for the organization of the carnival parties.

During the dictatorship, it was totally prohibited and after its fall and with the help of the first democratic government, the carnival came back in the city with the initiative of the Office of Festivities and Traditions called Culture Area, first in the passeig de gràcia street and after in the parallel avenue.

carnival carnival

Later, the organization of the party was under the responsibility of the districts and in 1989, it was the turn of the markets and stores. Since 2002, it is the task of the Institute of Culture and with the Department of Citizen Relations, the Municipal Institute of Education and Markets, they created the Civic Committee of Karnaval of Barcelona. Its main goal is to collect all projects from different organizations and associations into one and unique project for the carnival.

carnival carnival

The event starts around 19h30 with spectacles but the main event of the carnival is its parade called rua, in honor for the King Carnival, which starts at 20h30. In Catalonia, its name is Carnestoltes, from the latin carnis cualis meaning forbidden meats making allusion to the prohibition to eat meat during the 40 days of the lent.

carnival carnival

In spite that some districts organize their own events for the occasion, the big parade is only done on an unique street like la rambla, passeig de gràcia, via laietana, rambla de guipuscoa, gran de gracia, avinguda parallel... not only the street can be different each year but also the date, normally it is celebrated between middle of february and beginning of march. To know exactly when and where, I will recommend you to check its official website (only in catalan).