The first recorded Carnival celebrations in Barcelona dates back to the year 1333 and the idea of it being a celebration of debauchery and against established order remains to a certain extent. The idea springs from having a party before Lent with its days of abstinence and penance and although traditions have changed somewhat and Lent has lost its importance the story of King Carnestoltes (the name comes from the Latin carnes toldres or carnes tolendas) which means that eating of meat is banned throughout Lent is still adhered to in some places with Balls de Carnestoltes (dances) still going on.
This Saturday (13th) not only will there be the main parade through town but most local areas are getting in the party mood with their own separate events. The main parade with floats and costumed dancers kicks off at 8pm from the Avinguda del Paral·lel, (el Jardins de les Tres Xemeneies i el C. Tamarit).
Areas Ciutat Vella, Eixample, Sants-Montjuïc, Les Corts, Sarriá-Sant Gervasi, Gràcia, Horta-Guinardó, Nou Barris, Sant Andreu and Sant Martí have lots of things going on too from botifarra d'ou tastings, Balls de Carnestoltes, exhibitions of previous carnivals, costume workshops and ball de disfrasses.
Check the website for full information. www.bcn.cat/carnaval
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