Celebrating Carnival / Carnevale / Carnaval

It’s that time of year again: Carnival!

It’s weird thinking about how infinitely cooler my life was one year ago… Whenever specific dates like these pop up, I am always thinking about what I was doing last year (besides having the time of my life abroad). Well, in 2012 I went to two Carnival celebrations: Rome and Sitges.

Rome was a lovely coincidence. We weren’t in the city during the biggest celebrations (and going to Venice instead would have been cooler, but I’ll save it for another year) but there were still a lot of events going on. In one of the piazzas, we watched a parade:

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Basically a lot of costumes, horses, drumming, people walking on stilts, and confetti. My favorite part was seeing children dressed up all over the city, they were SO adorable!

Back in Barcelona, all the students were planning to go to Sitges, a beach town about an hour away, for Fat Tuesday. Sitges has one of the best celebrations in Spain, so if you’re in the Catalonia region, definitely head there!

Compared to some other people, my night was not that crazy. Compared to my normal life, it was pretty wild.

We opted to not skip Spanish class (which let out at 19:30 M-Th), but rushed to get costumes afterwards. We’d already gone to one of the Chinese stores near school. I wanted to buy something cheap because I didn’t want to waste money on something I’d use once, and probably wouldn’t take back with me to the US.  I got a Venetian mask and magenta feather boa. After class we went to a costume store (on Pg. de Gracia, I believe), where some of my friends bought pirate hats and swords. A few hours and one bocadillo later, we were on our way to Sitges!

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Getting off the train… I felt bad for the people who actually lived in this direction and needed the train, since they were bombarded with all these loud costumed people, many of whom were already drunk

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Just to give you an idea of how crowded the streets were

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There was a lot of music and parades.. so fun!

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On one of the beaches

On one of the beaches

It was a nice first introduction to Sitges, but it’s definitely better to visit on a normal day. Although, the whole spectacle is easier to tolerate if you’re a little buzzed too. The streets were trashed and filthy, and stay off the beaches if you can because a lot of people urinated there (gross). Be careful because people get grabby and occasionally violent. Carissa had gone over the weekend as well, and said it was a very different vibe then (less crazy partying, more cultural singing and dancing). I think I would have preferred seeing that instead, but this was still a great night and I had a lot of fun. Glad I can say that I’ve celebrated Carnival in two countries!

Jennifer

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One response to “Celebrating Carnival / Carnevale / Carnaval

  1. Pingback: The Obvious Foreigner | I who wander...·

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