Sitges has been celebrating its Carnival for more than 100 years; even when it was prohibited, Sitges was one of the few towns that kept the tradition going. That is why the Sitges Carnival is a party that the locals take part in and fully enjoy; they organize themselves into collas to present the result of many months of work, which start almost at the end of the previous year’s carnival.
The Sitges Carnival is known for its richness of its staging and its tremendous popularity, which turns the quiet streets of Sitges into rivers of people for a few days. The Sitges collas prepare the carnival conscientiously and with great enthusiasm; competition among them sets a very high standard for imagination and creativity, which keep this great party of spectacular music, light, and color alive.
The Carnival starts on ‘Fat Thursday’ with the “Arribo” or the arrival of King Carnestoltes, with magnificent fireworks by the sea.
Thereafter, Sitges shifts up a gear to a pace that will fill the streets during these 7 days of festivity. On Saturday, the street known as Calle Del Pecado is a tinderbox of people wearing fancy dress from near-by towns, although the locals do not usually dress up that day. The high points of the carnival are the “Rua de la Disbauxa” on Sunday night and the “Rua de l’Extermini” on Tuesday night, when some forty floats and more than 2,000 participants get ready to party till they drop in Sitges, which is packed to the rafters.
Finally, on the afternoon of the Ash Wednesday, Sitges bids farewell to the carnival until next year. This ceremony is known as the Burial of the Sardine, where mourners dressed in black lament the end of this great party.