Barcelona carnaval highlights & parades
Thursday 8th February 2018
Dijous Gras - Fat Thursday - Jueves Ladero
Thursday 8th February is 'Fat Thursday' and the first day of the carnival. Fat Thursday called 'Dijous Gras' in Catalan language and 'jueves Ladero' in Spanish language. Fat Thursday is similar to Shrove Tuesday in UK. The King Carnaval ceremony and parade opens the carnaval week in Barcelona.
L'Arribo Rei Carnestoltes
Thursday 8th February
Carnival King arrival at plaza de Sant Jaume. The first parades of the carnival are to celebrate the arrival of King Carnival. You can see Rei Carnestoltes 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 usually 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 a battle of colour with orange balloons and confetti doing battle.
Las ruas de carnaval - carnival parades
Saturday 10th February 2018. There are around 30 local Cavalcada del Rei Carnestoltes processions in all distrcts of Barcelona. For visitors we recommend events in the old city area of Barcelona.
Rua 'Carnavalassu 2018'
Date: Saturday 10th February 2018
Time: 18:30 to 20:30 - 5pm to 8.30pm
Starts on: Plaça de la Merçe
Ends on: Carrer del Pou de la Figuera
More Barcelona carnaval 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' awards 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' and is celebrated with the traditional 'Enterrament de la Sardina,' which means 'burying the sardine' to mark the end of the carnival period.