Carnival is one of the events of the year in Sitges, and it must be a compulsory attendance event on your calendar – no doubt about it! There are days of revelry, parades, fantasy costumes and impossible scenarios that transform the streets of Sitges into a large mosaic of colours. In 2018 alone, the Sitges Carnival brought together 300.000 visitors, 2.200 participants and more than 50 floats… And that barely lasts a week.
You got your costume ready? The local collas (groupings) prepare ostentatious feather and sequin costumes in the purest Sambodrome style, yet visitors are allowed to disguise themselves in slightly less splendid costumes. However, it is essential to bring a lot of fun. As the motto for these holidays says, Per Carnaval tot s’hi val! which, translated into English, would be: “Anything goes at Carnivals!”.
This is not just any carnival… Together with the Canary Islands and Cadiz, the Sitges Carnival is one of the most emblematic carnivals in Spain, with more than a hundred years of history!
How was it crowned as one of the great carnivals of the country?
At the end of the 19th century, two entities in Sitges were in charge of organising the festive activities in the town: La Societat Recreativa El Retiro and the Casino Prado Suburense. They both competed to look better than their rivals at carnivals and, year after year, their rivalry grew. His investment in time and resources for floats, music and costumes grew to transform the Sitges Carnival into one of the best selected in Spain by Niumba, TripAdvisor’s tourist rental portal (reaching great popularity throughout the country).
Pay attention! These are the most important events:
Today the Sitges Carnival still offers many activities to the visitor, spread over a week of ruas, concerts, contests or fireworks. The traditional dances and xatonades are still celebrated, although they have given prominence to new traditions such as the crazy race of disguised beds…
Here are some of the most important events, so make sure you don’t miss anything! And remember that you can find the times and dates of each activity on the web VisitSitges.com.
This is the first official act of the King of Carnival and marks the beginning of the festivities. Each year it is organized by a different colla, so the originality of the event is guaranteed.
On this first Thursday the Queen of Carnival is also chosen, the candidate in the most spectacular costume, who will have the honour of accompanying the Carnestoltes in all the official acts and celebrations of the week. The level of this competition is very high!
Tuesday and Sunday afternoons are for the little ones of the house. During the Children’s Rua, the boys and girls show that their costumes are up to the standards of carnival kings. A perfect activity to do as a family!
Rua de la Disbauxa
On Sunday night the Rua of unleashing is celebrated, one of the two most popular activities of the Sitges Carnival (next to the Rua de l’Extermini). Spectacular floats and impossible costumes parade in the rhythm of the music. This celebration coincides with other carnivals in the area, so it’s not so crowded. It’s your chance to comfortably get to know the craziest side of the carnival!
Rua de l’Extermini
On Tuesday night the most emblematic and massive act of the Sitges Carnival is celebrated: la Rua de l’Extermini. This is an indispensable date for lovers of extravagance, 100% fun guaranteed. The troupe of this street prepare for months their costumes… Bring the camera, it’ll be worth it!
The burial of the sardine is celebrated on Ash Wednesday and marks the end of the celebration. If you choose to visit Sitges on this day, you will be able to contemplate beautiful fireworks that are organised to bid farewell to the King of Carnival.
During the Tequereque festival on Saturday afternoon, a group of batucada travels through the historic centre of Sitges to the rhythm of the drums. If you want to take the opportunity to do some tourism during the carnivals, this act is a good opportunity.
Now that you know Sitges Carnival a little better, you’re ready to enjoy a week of fun… And if in between rua and rua you need a place to rest, Dolce Sitges will be delighted to welcome you in one of our spacious rooms overlooking the sea. Sitges is waiting for you!