Barcelona Carnival

From February 8 to 14

The Queen of the Carnival is back! 

The city is preparing, one more year, to receive Queen Belluga. This year her Majesty return to the streets in an Arribo devised by the company Ponten Pie. The Arribo will feature the ambassadors of the districts, the giants of the Carnival and many more characters, in addition to the long-awaited Taronjada!

The craziest party of all those celebrated throughout the year will begin on Fat Thursday with around thirty activities including Arribos, coca de llardons tastings and omelette contests. Throughout the weekend, it will once again have the Carnival parades through the city's neighbourhoods. A score of parades with more than fifty parallel activities, which will fill the neighborhood houses, civic centers and the Cases de la Festa with concerts, costume contests, exhibitions, masked dances and dress-up workshops.

Everything will end on Ash Wednesday, when we will bury the sardine in the various mortuary streets that will be held in the city. Between howls, tears and lamentations, we will bid farewell to her Majesty the Queen of Carnival to welcome Lent.

Do not stay at home, go out and enjoy the activities that have been prepared in every corner of the city. You will find more than 150 acts for all tastes!

And for Carnival, anything goes!

We present Carnestoltes, the Queen of Fools

Capricious, mocking, brazen... Queen Carnestoltes represents Carnival's intrinsic revelry and transgression. That's why the extravagantly-dressed Queen presides over all the festival's events, in her uniquely provocative way. Her big moment comes during the Arribo, when she opens the festivities with a satirical speech that usually covers the year's events and is rounded off with a call for everyone to join in the unbridled fun.

 

The Carnival Ambassadors: seven colours, seven towns and seven deadly sins

A colour, a vice and a name that explains their origins. These are Barcelona Carnival's Ambassadors, who are a blend of characteristics from the traditional carnivals of the 17th and 19th centuries mixed in with more modern features. That's why their names are a mixture of old Carnival names —Caramanxell, Gran Patantum, Calicut de Malabar–, with areas or motifs from the old towns they represent: Magòria, Sol de Baix, Tres Torres, Camp d’en Grassot, Les bugaderes d’Horta, Sant Genís dels Agudells, La Fabra & Coats and El Clot de la Mel...

Caramanxell de Magòria. Prince of You-make-me-angry and I-want-to-be-like-you. Count Jealous of All. Imperial Grand Wisdom. The Carnival King's Ambassador to the driven and enterprising village of Sants and hamlets of Montjuïc and La Marina. Ambassador in Indian Blue

Gran Patantúm de Solbaix. The Marchioness of Laziness and I-Couldn't-Care-Less. Madame Lots-of-work-with-little-enthusiasm, Imperial Grand Sweetness. The Carnival King's Ambassador to the very peaceful and beloved village of Les Corts and the Manor of Pedres-Albes. Ambassador of Sky Blue

Calicut de Malabar i Trestorres. Viscount of I-like-that and That's-for-me. Vicar of I'll-take-it-all. Imperial Grand Firmness. The Carnival King's Ambassador to the very noble and charming villages of Sarrià and Sant Gervasi de Cassoles and the Honorary Consul to the town of Vallvidrera. Ambassador in Green

Bufallut de Grassot. Duke of I'm-the-best, Marquess of Nobody's-as-good-as-me, Lord of Me-me-me. Imperial Grand Pride. The Carnival King's Ambassador to the very proud, happy and most-faithful village of Gràcia and the Honorary Consul to the village of Vallcarca. Ambassador in Yellow

Currutaca Bugadera i Santgenís. Grand Duchess of Now-I'm-okay-Now-I'm-in-a-huff  Princess Consort of Gosh-look-at-that! Imperial Grand Enthusiasm. The Carnival King's Ambassador to the industrious and refined village of Horta, of the valleys of Hebron and the mountain hamlets of Guinardó. Ambassador in Orange

Maabiata de Tan-txan i Coats. Princess of I'm-going-strong. Countess of I'm-all-itchy. Priestess I-eat-anything Imperial Grand Passion. The Carnival King's Ambassador to the sensual and discreet villages of Sant Andreu, La Sagrera and the new Més de Nou Barris. Ambassador in Red

Barreló Espirillingat de la Mel. Count of Big Belly Viscount of More-food. Vis-viscount of I-want-more, Vis-vis-viscount of I've-still-got-room. Imperial Grand Serenity. The Carnival King's Ambassador to the very extensive and beachy village of Sant Martí. Ambassador in Purple

On Fat Thursday, everyone to the Arribo!

One more year, when the cold is still present, the party and the madness arrive in Barcelona and fill the city with revelry, humor and costumes. Carnival is here!

On Thursday the 8th, L'Arribo, or arrival, signals the start of the Barcelona Carnival and it does so with a street show on stage that has large visual components for audiences of all ages and nationalities, with humour and a real festive feel.

This year, Queen Belluga, the Barcelona Carnival queen, has just arrived in the city following a long journey around the world in search of the pure essence of carnival. An inspiring, mystical, eye-opening, hypnotic journey. And yes, she has found what carnival is all about, what carnival really needs. And she has brought it back to Barcelona.

However, she has not returned from this journey alone. She has come back accompanied by a group of really crazy advisers, and she says that with them and their contributions, they will make Barcelona the carnival ambassador city. She wants to turn everything on its head, really stir things up.

In order to plan this carnival, Queen Belluga invites these characters to her home for a working day, a creative brainstorming session to come up with ideas and bring a crazy, festive spirit to Barcelona.

But inviting a group of strangers to her house, representatives of carnivals from around the world, is not the best idea she’s ever had and the evening takes an unexpected turn, thanks to the host herself, turning it into a wild, absurd and hilarious festive occasion. And "voilà", quite unexpectedly, the carnival opening ceremony takes a comic and liberating turn, which will flip the night on its head, highlighting the most humble essence of carnival. A place where the most spontaneous and community-spirited festivity comes into its own.

Circus, dance and live vocals will all take centre stage in this production, featuring a series of fast-paced numbers with twists and acrobatics. Absurd and irreverent comedy are at the heart of the Arribo acts and the staging shines a spotlight on the scenography and the performers’ costumes.

The show will of course finish with the traditional Taronjada.

At 6 pm, the giants of the Carnival of Barcelona will wait for the Queen Belluga at the top of the Rambla (metro pipe of Plaça de Catalunya).

The parade will begin at 6.10 pm, headed by the Carnival giants, Queen Belluga and her guests. It will go to the Virreina Palace.

The show 'Capgirat' will take place at 6.30 pm in front of the Palau de la Virreina.

In the city's districts, anything goes for Carnival!

Parades, Carnival dances, omelette competitions, fancy-dress competitions, sardine funerals, proclamations... It's anything goes for Carnival! There are lots of different things to do in the city, including children's activities, mask workshops and make-up courses, along with exhibitions and talks on Carnival week.

Here are all of the activities, by district: