Carnival, which is also in Barcelona, is the time of joy, exuberance and joie de vivre, before Ash Wednesday when the 46-day Lent to Easter begins. Carnival, in Catalonia "Carnaval" is celebrated as in Central Europe. One disguises oneself, there are carnival events and parades, which are almost as colourful as in Cologne or Mainz. And the bars are full.
The special costumes, the typical disguises and wizards make this carnival so worth seeing. Also, children will love the carnival in Barcelona.
If you tend to dislike carnivals and would like to take refuge from the clownish goings, we can relax you. In Barcelona, El Carnaval is not as ubiquitous as in Mainz at the carnival or the Swabian-Alemannic Fasnet.
The carnival begins in Spain with "Dirty Thursday", in Barcelona this day is called Jueves Ladero - Greasy Thursday, or Dijous Gras in Catalan. This day is dedicated to the "Greasy" and "Vice" and celebrated with many festivals in which vast amounts are eaten.
The weekend belongs to the Carnival Guilds. Highlight is the Gran Rue, the big carnival Parade (see below) with loads of colourful decorated carriages and carnival Groups.
On Ash Wednesday the carnival comes to an end with the funeral of the sardine. The King of Carnival dies and is buried in his grave in a funeral cortège, accompanied by his widow and companions - the colourful costumes are appropriately exchanged to black mourning clothes.
Traditionally, on this day fish is eaten.
For those who like it shrill one should go to El Carnaval in Sitges which is approximately 15 kilometres away. In the gay and lesbian stronghold the atmosphere is very shrill and eccentric, and the parade is unique. In Sitges, the Carnival has been celebrated for over 100 years.
On Dijous Gras - the Dirty Thursday – King Carnestoltes, the King Carnival, moves to Sitges. Highlights in Sitges are Rua de la Disbauxa on Sunday and Rua de l'Exterminiam on Tuesday afternoon. Even children will be delighted by these two parades.
To reach Sitges one simply takes the train. Trains depart from the main station Sants to Sitges. The trip takes about 40 minutes.
07.02.2013: Dirty Thursday (Jueves Ladero)
11.02.2013: Big Parade (Gran Rua)
13.02.2013: Ash Wednesday
Calender following years
27.02.2014: Dirty Thursday (Jueves Ladero)
03.03.2014: Big Parade (Gran Rua)
05.03.2014: Ash Wednesday
If you would like to attend the celebrations it makes sense to take an appropriate costume with you.
The weather in Barcelona during the Carnival
General advice on climate and weather in Barcelona is combined on a special weather and climate site.
Snow is not to be expected during the carnival in Barcelona. The climate is mild and sunny with a daytime temperature of about 15-18 degrees. In February / March 5-8 rainy days are to be expected, however, a rainy day doesn’t mean continuous rain. A light rain protection and warmer clothes, especially for the evening and night hours are appropriate.
Apartment, hotel and flight
Ideal for families or small groups are our apartments. Since they are mostly self-catering, it gives you the opportunity to breathe the air of Barcelona. Loads of small shops and the markets invite you to buy groceries.
On Barcelona.de you can choose from a variety of apartments.
Even hotels of all categories can be booked on Barcelona.de.
The most convenient way of travelling is to fly. On Barcelona.de you can book your flight. You can choose from over 80 airlines. Not every airline flies certainly the simplest, fastest, most convenient and often the cheapest way to Barcelona. On Barcelona.de the prices of airlines are already inclusive of taxes and a booking fee. This gives you a very high level of transparency.
We would be happy to be at your service in case of queries.
The grand parade takes place in Barcelona normallyon Friday. It consists of approximately 2000 participants and around 60 wagons and runs about 2000m along the Avinguda del Paral·lel. The best way to reach the parade is via the underground. Along the Avinguda you'll find the stations Drassanes (L3), Paral·lel (L3, L2), Poble Sec (L3) and Espanya (L3,L1).
But the 2012 Gran Rua is cancelled because the city has to save money. Somesmaller Gran Ruas will hapen in the districts Gràcia and Sants.
At Carnival in Barcelona people are also covered.
Here is a small excerpt from the move from Barcelona Carnaval 2008.