Held every year and featuring several weeks of traditional processions, events, concerts and spectacles, Caranaval is Vilanova’s most well known festival. It is the only Carnaval event in Catalonia that survived the Franco dictatorship, and today continues to make heavy use of satire. Vilanova’s Carnaval has been awarded formal recognition by the Catalonian government as a Heritage Festival.
Carnaval begins on Fat Tuesday with the traditional Merengue battle and preparation of Xató, a local delicacy. Friday marks the arrival of King Carnestoltes, whose parade of floats and merrymakers begins a riotous weekend of costumed revelry, musical ensembles and street theatre.
Sunday brings the main event, the Comparses. Thousands of participants organized into groups take to the streets dressed in traditional attire. Marching in pairs, waving their flags and singing time-honoured songs, the groups wage good-natured battles against each other, flinging sweets at rival Comparsers and into the hands of onlookers. The Comparses culminate in a series of jubilant sweet wars that take place in the town’s Plaça de la Vila.
Carnaval draws to a close with a series of costume contests, dances and the final Enterro de la Sardina – a celebratory but bittersweet burial procession that marks the end of King Carnestoltes’ reign and of the festivities…until the following year!
Video produced by Gorilladivision