It’s the gayest time, the most merry and lovely and enjoyable time. Not only is it carnival, that global celebration once-upon-a-time marking the last hurrah before the 40 days of Lent’s abstinence, but it’s carnival done Spanish style, done Catalan style, done in a way that’s befitting of Barcelona. Sitges carnival is the gayest time because everybody is just so happy, and dressed up so wonderfully, and with all the sequins and glitter, and hunky guys on floats with their tops off despite the cold, and women wearing next to nothing kissing other women wearing next to nothing…
Sitges carnival is also the gayest because Sitges is one of Europe’s gay capitals, a seaside resort that has long enjoyed the patronage of LGBTQI sunseekers and party animals.
Now carnival in Sitges isn’t a specifically gay event, but there’s no denying the influence that the local community have on proceedings, making it an absolute delight of a party to participate in, or just watch from the sidelines. If you’ve never celebrated carnival before, you’re in for a surprise, and if you have you’ll know to dress up, paint your face, grab some beads and let loose for one night.
So Lent is supposed to be a period of intense abstinence leading up to Easter, a period where catholics would give up vices, like drinking and cigarettes, as well as not so vices, like eating red meat. They say that carnival came about because everybody had a lot of meat that they had to get through before the period of no meat, but that’s just the vanilla version. More likely is that everybody wanted to get fucked up and bang each other before the 40 days without. Also, the word carnival derives from the latin carne vale, which means farewell meat. Now you could think that they were talking about the meat from the kitchen, but we’re pretty sure that they were saying goodbye to trouser meat.
So now carnival is celebrated in the old and new catholic worlds, including famous events in Venice, Italy, Cologne, Germany, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, New Orleans, USA, and our own special Sitges, Spain (Catalunya!). All of these celebrations are about covering your identity a little so you can truly get up to mischief you won’t be held responsible for at a later date. Wear a mask, cover yourself in feathers, grab some beads, and just go wild! You’re probably not going to abstain afterwards, but any excuse for a good party…
What’s good in Sitges?
Well, it’s a gay hub, which means that it attracts plenty of visitors, so shopping, restaurants, clubs, etc are all of a high standard with plenty of variety. There are a bunch of beautiful beaches, a great old church that overlooks the sea, an old town that features windy, narrow streets with all those bars and restaurants and clubs littered along it, and it’s just down the road from Barcelona, so you can get there and home without too much hassle (but make sure you get to the train before it closes, and forget about it all together on Carnival night — too busy, not enough options, and you don’t want to be stuck there in the cold). For more information on Sitges, check out our guide.
The Sitges carnival is a parade and a street party. There will be floats with gaudily dressed performers, scantily dressed performers, not dressed at all performers, and we’ll be drinking and dancing away while they go past, sometimes participating ourselves. Once that’s done we’ll continue grooving in the streets, hit up some bars and clubs, and then stumble back to the bus home.
What’s the deal with Stoke Travel’s Sitges carnival trip?
We’re going to roll in to Sitges on Fat Tuesday, aka Mardi Gras, after our pre-party in Barcelona, with an hour of open bar from 4:30pm. Our private coaches will take us to Sitges and bring us back home when it’s done, and there’ll be a litre of sangria waiting for you when you arrive. We’ll have guides to help guide you through the madness, but if you get lost don’t worry, just go with the party and make your way back to the buses when it’s time to go. Every year we take hundreds of partiers from Barcelona to Sitges, and this year will be no different. Let’s say goodbye to meat and get buck wild for Carnival 2018, Sitges style!