Carnival fever is set to sweep the streets of Barcelona and beyond next week as the Carnaval de Barcelona presents an array of fun events to mark the impending arrival of Lent. Renowned for its originality, diversity and popular participation, this year’s celebrations in Barcelona are dedicated to Queen Belluga, a traditional 17th-century figure who proclaimed the end of decency and established power, instead enforcing a kingdom of fun and disobedience. This recognition not only aims to acknowledge the importance this female character once had, but also to recall the social and political participation of women in the city. The first references to King and Queen Belluga can be traced back to 1633, when they featured in a satire on monarchs, ridiculing them with ostentatious clothing and hats full of whirligigs.
This year’s carnival programme features a wide variety of activities with something for everyone. Festivities begin on February 4th with a firework display to mark the arrival of the carnival queen—Queen Belluga. L’Arribo (‘The Arrival’), a parade featuring the queen’s seven ambassadors and a musical entourage, will precede the arrival of the queen and proclaim her reign, inviting onlookers in the Ciutat Vella to participate in the merrymaking. A host of other events, including over 30 different parades across the city, will take place during the week up until the traditional burial of the sardine on February 10th. A pivotal event of carnival is the traditional La Taronjada (‘Orange Fest’), taking place at the El Born Cultural Centre on February 7th, in which the whole family are invited to participate. The afternoon includes a flashmob, an orange fight, dances, processions and a Masquerade ball.
More information here.