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Sitges Carnival is an astounding event that lasts a whole week. From the 19th until the 25th of February, the town is transformed into a theatrical stage of festive revelry.
The days of Carnival in the town are presided over by “Carnestoltes” (Carnival King), king of the clowns. He is accompanied by the Carnival Queen, who helps him spread festival vibes throughout the array of social and cultural events that take place in Sitges during the week.
Carnival begins when the Girl Queen is chosen at the nearby Casino Prado Suburense. The Grand Carnival Conscript takes place at another local location – the social club, El Retiro.
On Maundy Thursday, “Arribo” (The Arrival) takes place with the spectacular coming of the Carnival King, accompanied by the Carnival Queen. Once this is over, His Majesty and her entourage head towards the town hall where they take control of the council buildings and address the citizens of Sitges, during the “Predicot” (Adress). That night, local “xatonades” - a meal eaten traditionally during Lent consisting of cod fish, salad and a sauce made from red pepper, garlic and almonds - are held in the Retiro, the Prado and in the Traditional Dance Centre.
On Friday, the Carnival Queen and her entourage make a series of visits to the local schools and town institutions, which continue until Saturday.
The children of Sitges also have their chance to play a lead role during the kids’ parade on Sunday and Tuesday afternoon.
Authentic displays of aesthetic and artistic creativity can be savoured at the night time parades on Sunday -  “Rua de la Disbauxa”  (Parade of Revelry) and Tuesday – “Rua de l’Extermini” (Parade of Extermination). Some forty floats, with more than 2000 participants, create a truly amazing showcase of costumes, make-up, feathers, daring and fantastical figures and bizarre theatrical performances on moving platforms. Dancing, inspired by Caribbean rhythms, is set to contemporary music while the parades’ original choreographies create an amazing combination of light, colour, rhythm and fantasy.
On Wednesday, Carnival ends with the burial of the Carnival King. Sitges residents can accompany the king and his entourage until the funeral site, where the reading of his will takes place.

All of these components, and the singular festive idiosyncrasy, combine to create a unique style - a festival of the senses.


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