Hi, I’m Sa Majestat el Rei Carnestoltes (His Majesty the King Carnival) and I am addicted to fun, madness and love breaking conventional social rules. I heard rumors about a woman who doesn’t agree with my lifestyle. She is La Vella Quaresma (the Old Lady Lent). She will be here in seven days, so let’s make the most of my week. I am in Barcelona and clouds but no rain are expected for the next days. Carnestoltes will rule this week, come and celebrate it with me!
Day 1. Dijous Gras – Fat Thursday
It is the day to eat as much as you want, especially fatty foods because we will fast when the Old Lady Lent arrives. In the morning you will find me in the local markets eating botifarra d’ou (egg sausage), omelettes and coca de llardons (pastry cake with pork crackling). Today I will introduce you to my seven friends. They are called Ambaixadors (ambassadors), they represent the seven ancient villages of Barcelona and will join me during this week. We will light the city sky with fireworks this evening, inaugurating the Carnival Week.
Day 2. Friday – A returning tradition
Today we will rescue an ancient tradition: El ball del rodolí. Sign up to the raffle and the rodolí will choose a companion for you. No one will dance alone today!
Day 3. Saturday – Dancers take the street
The word has spread out and more than 30 Parades of masked revelers will dance along the streets throughout the city. You are all welcome to enjoy the party!
Day 4. Sunday – Dancing, dancing and dancing!
I love the orange color: we will celebrate the Taronjada today, the oldest tradition in the Carnival of Barcelona. It is composed by four parts:
- Catalan Carnival traditional dances
- Cercavila, passacaglia with music, dancers and giants following the 8 carnival floats for each one of us: me and the 7 Ambassadors.
- Pitched battle in the Born neighborhood with orange confetti and balloons that resemble the real oranges we used to throw in the 14th century.
- We will finish dancing in the Sarau, our masked dance party.
Days 5 & 6. Monday & Tuesday – Barcelona, the city that I love
I can’t leave Barcelona without visiting by incognito its marvelous places. The best option is to do it with Barcelona Guide Bureau and their Daily Sightseeing Tours. In two days you will visit two of Gaudí’s masterpieces (Sagrada Família and Casa Batlló), Montjuïc, Poble Espanyol, the Palau de la Música Catalana and Montserrat. Will you join me?
Day 7. Dimecres de Cendra – It’s time to say Goodbye
Today is Ash Wednesday. My seven friends tell me they can’t do anything to stop the Enterrament de la Sardina. It is a funerary ritual where they will burn me on a pyre in Park de la Ciutadella, symbolizing the end of excesses and the beginning of Lent.
Don’t be sad, I’ll be back next year!