In february CARNIVAL WEEK. Origin, history and great celebrations
10 Feb 2020

In february CARNIVAL WEEK. Origin, history and great celebrations

The carnival. A joyful and fun party



Some scholars speculate that the true origins of carnival actually lie in pagan rituals predating Christianity.

The term Carnival (or Carnaval, in Spanish), has an etymology that can find little accord among those who explain its origins. Perhaps beginning with the question of whether the roots of the word date back to latin, and which terms they seem to derive from, several theories about the origin of Carnival persist, each with its own explanation.

The timing of Carnival celebrations around the world also plays an important role in these theories, in particular as it relates to Christianity. Taking place in February, Carnival occurs just before Lent, a time in which Christians all over the world choose to fast, involving the avoidance of eating meat as dictated by the Church. In this context, one theory claims that the term is derived from the latin carne and vale, literally, saying goodbye to meat. Others who support this theory link it to the Italian expression, carne levare, with the same meaning.

Although many people usually associate the holiday of Carnival as something celebrated, many would be surprised to know that it is in fact, a worldwide celebration. The many themes surrounding this holiday include masks, parades, fireworks, dancing, and of course, celebrating in the streets with brightly colored clothes and music impossible not to dance to. Celebrated in countries where there is a strong Catholic background, those of other religions can not help me moved by the joyous festivites surrounded by Carnival. Carnival is a celebration that is celebrated all over the world: Brazil, Venice, Colombia, Cádiz, Tenerife,… but each of these celebrations differs from the rest.


The origin of Carnival, as mentioned before, appears to have been born from the practices of Lent, where people refrained from parties and the consumption of certain foods rich in meat, sugar, and dairy. Because these foods where not to be eaten during the forty days of Lent, participants usually formed massive parties where these foods were enjoyed before being shelved or thrown away.

The name “carnival” appears to come from the Italian word for meat “carne”, which would explain its Christian origin. In Italian “carne levare” means “to remove meat”, while in Latin “carne vale” means “farewell to meat”. Both terms reflect similar meanings. As the Italian Carnivals became ever so festive, their popularity stemmed to the surrounding countries of France, Spain, and Portugal, other countries with a strong Catholic influence. Afterwards, as these countries began exploring the Americas, they took with them their much beloved traditions.

Carnival today

Currently, in Catalonia we can group the carnival into two types. The carnival influenced by the Brazilian party; where music, dances and costumes are more important, as is the case of the well-known Sitges carnival. And the most traditional carnivals that place greater emphasis on satire, as is the case of Vilanova i la Geltrú and Solsona. One has adopted one more aspect of lucimiento and the other one of mockery and criticism. However, both in the satirical carnival and the show, appears the presence of a character known as the ” King Carnestoltes “, which receives different names according to the people. This is who governs the municipality during the days of this celebration.

The Carnival Week has an important impact in Catalonia

Carnival is one of the most cheerful and entertaining parties. In Catalonia there are very traditional and must-see Carnival parades. There are some localities that usually move the holiday to advance or delay it to allow different groups to be able to be present in more than one of the ruins and qualify for the prizes offered by the different costume and parade competitions that are held in The whole territory. To highlight some populations, in Centelles (Osona), for example, this weekend the 14th in february already celebrates its party. They also do the same in Cornellà de Terri, and their Carnival Parade also passes on the 14th. On the other hand, other locations such as Taradell, Balenyà or Port de la Selva are the last carnivals as they celebrate it on February 29.

The carnival parade Font.- Osona Turisme

Some of the most traditional Carnivals in Catalonia


From February 20 to 26, in the coastal town of the Garraf region they celebrate their Carnival that already has more than a century of history. Of all the week of revelry, the Rua de la Disbauxa and the Rua de l’Extermini stand out, exceeding 2,000 participants in disguise and accompanied by more than fifty floats.


This year his party is celebrated between February 15 and 25. Its origin is framed in Roman festivals and they are closely linked to gastronomy. The Disfressa d’Or stands out, along with its Rua-Parade and the Mascarada de Dol.


It is the most traditional of the central area of ​​Catalonia. This season reaches its 40th. edition. The events of this season’s program have already started on January 25th, although it is from February 20th when Carnival Week begins with the “Carnival of the Older People” and the “Pullasso”. On Saturday, the 22nd, at night, the main parade is held on a festive night in which the tour is filled with more than 25,000 attendees.

Vilanova i la Geltrú

In 1985 it was declared a National Festival of Interest. Their editions usually last a full week of party and revelry. In this edition, his show will be on Saturday 22th. The debauchery has already begun on January 15th with the first acts of this year’s program. Saturday – 22th is also the day of the “Malcalsats Dance” and the night of the mascarots. Sunday highlights, as the main act of the day, the parade of “les comparses”..


The Carnival 2020 activities in Barcelona begin on February 20th, coinciding with the “Dijous Gras” (Thursday Gras) day.

In Barcelona there will be 45 Carnival parades distributed throughout the neighborhoods. The majority will concentrate on Saturday, February 22 with different parallel activities that complement the day of debauchery. There are popular chocolats, children’s shows and costume contests. The district with the most revelry is San Andreu, which has eight Carnival parades scheduled, followed by Nou Barris, Sant Martí and Sants-Montjuïc.

Another GREAT carnival celebrations in the world

1. Tenerife CarnivalSpain

2. Venice CarnivalItaly

3. Rio de Janeiro CarnivalBrazil

4. Binche CarnivalBelgium

5. Mardi Gras, New Orleans, USA

6. Viareggio CarnivalItaly

7. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria CarnivalGran Canaria – Spain

8. Ivrea CarnivalItaly

9. Notting Hill CarnivalLondon


Avant Grup, transport partner with different cultural entities in our country, echoes the traditions and culture by coinciding with the different events that are scheduled during Carnival events and parties, especially in the metropolitan area of Barcelona

It is a good experience to share the trips to the different events organized during this week of Carnival in Catalonia …


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