Carnival 2019: Madness in Sitges

Carnival is a Western Christian and Greek Orthodox festive season that occurs before the liturgical season of Lent. The word “Carnaval” likely originates from the Latin term “carne levare,” or “to remove meat.” On the day before Ash Wednesday (Mardi Gras or “Fat Tuesday,”) many Catholics ate all of the meat and fat in their home and held large parties in the streets as one last celebration before the penitential Lenten season. Historically, it has been a time when all social classes could disguise themselves, congregate, and forget their usual tribulations.

It is celebrated in many places around the world. The world’s largest carnival festival is held in Salvador and Bahia, Brazil. Some of the best Carnival celebrations are in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, where it is called Mardi Gras, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil and many other countries in South America, Venice, Italy, Sitges, Spain, and more. Usually Carnival consists of a large parade with music, dancing, food, and drink. In carnival all dancers wear incredible costumes of sequins and feathers.

A video depicting Carnaval in Sitges 2018

I was lucky enough to be able to travel to Sitges for Carnival 2019 celebration. Going into it I had no idea what to expect, but my friends and I got dressed up in a butterfly costume that we bought from Flying Tiger below our apartment, put on some crazy makeup and boarded the train to Sitges.

Once we arrived in Sitges, it was immediately a crazy party. The streets were packed with people dressed in elaborate costumes. Bars were overflowing with people and music was pulsing loud everywhere. We ran through the streets hopping from place to place, meeting new people and dancing along through Sitges. Everyone was smiling and happy and thrilled to be there.

Costume of one dancer in the parade

We then lined up to watch the parade. The streets were crowded while everyone waited for the parade to start. Once it started, everyone went crazy! The floats came one after another. They were large and beautifully decorated, with lots of people dancing on it and a large squad of dancers in front of it as well. The dances were often choreographed and all the dancers were in sync. It was an amazing show to see.

Here are some photos from the night, taken on my film camera.

My friend, Jack, wearing a pink wig and butterfly wings
In the train station
on the streets of Sitges

Carnaval 2019 in Sitges, Spain was an incredible experience. I would highly recommend anyone to go who wants to experience a crazy night of celebration!

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