Carnival of Tarragona

Carnival of Tarragona
Most cities and towns of Spain celebrate Carnival, a Western Christian festive season that occurs before Lent. And sometimes it is smaller cities and towns that host the most colorful Carnival celebrations. For example, the Carnival of Tarragona is among the most famous Spanish Carnivals alongside Carnival celebrations in Las Palmas, Santa Cruz, Sitges, etc.

Tarragona is a port city located in northeast Spain on the Costa Daurada. It is the capital of the province of the same name that is one of the four provinces constituting the autonomous community of Catalonia. Tarragona hosts a number of well-known festivals such as the Santa Tecla Festival, the Tarragona International Fireworks Displays Competition, the Tarragona International Dixieland Festival, and the Carnival of Tarragona.

The Carnival is opened by the King of the Carnival, in Catalonia this character is known as the King Carnestoltes. He gives permission to have fun without limitation during the festive season. However, by the end of the Tarragona Carnival the King is condemned to death and his effigy is burnt publicly at the grand finale. This ceremony is called crema de la bóta.

The Carnival of Tarragona is known for its spectacular parades featuring numerous comparsas (groups of singers, dancers and musicians) and allegorical floats. Among the largest parades are the Rua de l’Artesania and Rua de Lluïment parades.

Other highlights of the Tarragona Carnival include the Judgment of Carnestoltes, concerts by well-known performers, parties, craft shows, gastronomic events, the annual Drag Queen and Drag King contest, and the Golden Costume show where the leaders of the comparsas parade dressed elegant clothing.

At the Carnival, you can sample local delicacies such as escudella (traditional Catalan soup and stew), escalivada (roasted vegetables), bontifarra (a type of sausage), and more.

Carnival of Tarragona

Photo: Luis Pérez Contreras




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